25 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About the 4th of July

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In honor of Independence Day, Argunners would like to present these 25 interesting facts you probably didn’t know about the holiday.

  1. Independence Day is the National Day of the United States.
  2. Independence Day, also referred to as the Fourth of July or July Fourth, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence 241 years ago on July 4, 1776
  3. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, and political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States
  4. The Declaration of Independence, signed in 1776, was meant to justify a revolt against the British, with a list of charges against the British king. SEE ALSO: Abigail Adams on the Front Lines of History
  5. The Fourth of July commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
  6. The Declaration of Independence was initially adopted by Congress on July 2, 1776, but then it was revised and the final version was adopted two days later.
  7. As Thomas Jefferson penned the Declaration, Britain’s army was on its way toward to New York Harbor. It began:“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
  8. The Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 men representing the 13 colonies.
    declaration of independence

    Declaration of Independence

  9. The moment the Declaration of Independence was signed marked the beginning of all-out war against the British.
  10. The American Revolutionary War is said to have started in 1775, however.
  11. The Declaration was signed more than two years after Boston officials refused to return three shiploads of taxed tea to Britain, fueling colonists to dump the tea into the harbor in what became the infamous Boston Tea Party.
  12. Several countries used the Declaration of Independence as a beacon in their own struggles for freedom. Among them, France. Then later, Greece, Poland, Russia and many countries in South America.
  13. Yankee Doodle,” one of many patriotic songs in the United States, was originally sung prior to the Revolution by British military officers who mocked the unorganized and buckskin-wearing “Yankees” with whom they fought during the French and Indian War.
  14. The “Star Spangled Banner” wasn’t written until Francis Scott Key wrote a poem stemming from observations in 1814, when the British relentlessly attacked Baltimore’s Fort McHenry during the War of 1812.
  15. The “Star Spangled Banner” was later put to music, though not decreed the official national anthem of the United States until 1931.
  16. Three U.S. presidents actually died on July 4. Two of them passed away within hours of each other on July 4, 1826: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. The two had been political rivals and then friends later in life. The other to share the distinction was James Monroe, who died July 4, 1831.
  17. Oh how we’ve grown: In 1776, about 2.5 million people lived in the newly independent United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2017, over 326 million Americans celebrated Independence Day.
  18. On July 6, 1776, the Pennsylvania Evening Post became the first newspaper to print the now-historic Declaration of Independence.
  19. In 1777, thirteen gunshots were fired in salute, once at morning and once again as evening fell, on July 4 in Bristol, Rhode Island. Philadelphia celebrated the first anniversary in a manner a modern American would find quite familiar: an official dinner for the Continental Congress, toasts, 13-gun salutes, speeches, prayers, music, parades, troop reviews, and fireworks. Ships in port were decked with red, white, and blue bunting.
  20. In 1778, from his headquarters at Ross Hall, near New Brunswick, New Jersey, General George Washington marked July 4 with a double ration of rum for his soldiers and an artillery salute (feu de joie). Across the Atlantic Ocean, ambassadors John Adams and Benjamin Franklin held a dinner for their fellow Americans in Paris, France.
  21. In 1779, July 4 fell on a Sunday. The holiday was celebrated on Monday, July 5.
  22. In 1781, the Massachusetts General Court became the first state legislature to recognize July 4 as a state celebration.
  23. In 1783, Moravians in Salem, North Carolina, held a celebration of July 4 with a challenging music program assembled by Johann Friedrich Peter. This work was titled The Psalm of Joy. This is recognized as the first recorded celebration and is still celebrated there today.
  24. In 1870, the U.S. Congress made Independence Day an unpaid holiday for federal employees.
  25. In 1938, Congress changed Independence Day to a paid federal holiday.

We hope you enjoyed these 25 facts about the 4th of July!

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About Author

Growing up right around the corner from St. Louis, MO in the historical town of Alton, IL, Brandy has always had a strong appreciation for history and nature.

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