As we celebrate yet another year of Independence, we think back to our founding fathers, the Constitution and Declaration of Independence that have been the cornerstones of our nation, and also, perhaps, about what we didn’t know about that day in 1776 that changed everything for America.
- The first Independence Day was celebrated on July 8th, 1776. Unlike the years we’ve had celebrating Independence Day on July 4th, the very first Independence Day occurred on July 8th, 1776. The Declaration of Independence was approved by Congress on the 4th, which is why we celebrate the holiday on that particular day. And it wasn’t officially considered a holiday until 1870.
- Coincidentally (or not?) both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on July 4th, 1826. James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States, also died five years later on July 4th, 1831.
- July 4th is considered to be a fairly boozy holiday, maybe stemming from George Washington issuing his soldiers double rations of rum to celebrate Independence Day.
- Every 4th of July the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is tapped (not rung) thirteen times to remember the original thirteen colonies.
- Benjamin Franklin wanted the National Bird to be the turkey, but was outvoted with the bald eagle. At least the turkey is pretty famous for another holiday that Americans all know and love.