Just the Facts

Five Facts on Independence Day

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July 4, 2019 | Blog

July 4th is Independence Day! To celebrate, these are the facts.

John Adams wanted to celebrate Independence Day on July 2.

The Lee resolution of the Declaration dealt with independence and was presented and voted on by Congress on July 2nd. Congress took the following two days for the revision process, and adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4th.

John Hancock and Charles Thomson were the only two to actually sign the Declaration of Independence on July 4th.[1]

On July 4th, Congress approved the final wording for the Declaration of Independence. On July 19th, Congress ordered that the Declaration be printed on parchment with a new title, and that all members of Congress would sign. Congress signed the new copy of the Declaration of Independence starting on August 2nd[2]

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826.[3]

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were the last surviving members of the original revolutionaries. After the US declared independence, their friendship faded among political differences. After renewing their friendship through a series of letters written in 1812, the two would later die within five hours of each other on the 50th anniversary of US independence.

July 4th was not declared a national holiday until 1870.[4]

For the first two decades after the Declaration was written, July 4th was hardly celebrated. After the war of 1812, copies of the Declaration were circulated again, and celebrations became more common. It was still not until 1870 that Congress declared July 4th a national holiday as part of a bill to officially recognize several holidays, almost one hundred years after the Declaration of Independence was signed.

Denmark, England, Norway, Portugal and Sweden celebrate the 4th of July as well.[5] 

Denmark and Norway celebrate American Independence because thousands of their own citizens found a home in the US in the early 1900s. Other European countries recognized the opportunity to attract Americans, and hold their celebrations near military bases or tourist destinations.

[1] https://www.businessinsider.com/10-unusual-fourth-of-july-facts-2016-7

[2] https://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=2

[3] http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/thomas-jefferson-and-john-adams-die

[4] https://www.constitutionfacts.com/us-declaration-of-independence/fourth-of-july/

[5] https://www.ibtimes.com/fourth-july-2014-9-trivia-facts-about-independence-day-1616992

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