we all know why we celebrate the 4th of July, but for this mommy it had been a long time since studying American History in school and some of the facts had gotten a little fuzzy. so I did what any sensible person does and googled it. then I double checked all the ones I thought sounded legitimate and compiled this list of 10 fun facts about the 4th of July.
here we go:
1. July 2, 1776 is the actual date the Continental Congress declared independence from Great Britain. however, the final wording of the Declaration of Independence wasn't approved by Congress until several days later on July 4, 1776 after all revisions and edits had been finally agreed upon.
2. John Hancock was the first and only person to sign the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. the remaining 54 delegates did not sign the Declaraion until August 2, 1776.
3. the first Independence Day celebration took place in Philadelphia in July of 1777 with a parade, a thirteen-shot cannon salute and fireworks.
4. it wasn't until 1870, almost 100 years after the Declaration of Independence was written, that Congress first declared July 4th to be a national holiday as part of a bill to officially recognize several major state holidays at a federal level, including Christmas.
5. on the 4th of July, 1942, the U.S. air offensive against Nazi Germany began, launching the first American bombing mission over enemy-occupied Europe (World War II).
6. both Thomas Jefferson (left) and John Adams (right) died on July 4, 1826.
7. the Revolutionary War started before independence from Great Britain was declared. the battles of Lexington and Concord in April 1775 marked the beginning of the war; that's when Paul Revere made his midnight ride.
8. July 4th was also the date that was printed on the Dunlap Broadsides, the original printed copies of the Declaration of Independence that were circulated throughout the new nation.
9. the Declaration of Independence wasn't actually received by Great Britain until November 1776, nearly 5 months after Thomas Jefferson had written the first draft in June of that year.
10. in July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation was 2.5 million. Today's U.S. population is over 318 million according to the United States Census Bureau.
cheers to our independence - may we all remember today as we celebrate our independence, that our freedom wasn't free. ever.