Fun Facts about Independence Day
- The delegates agreed to declare independence from Great Britain on July 2. It wasn’t until July 4 that the delegates agreed on the official final draft of the Declaration of Independence, and it wasn’t until August 2 that all delegates signed.
- The 56 signers represented 2.5 million people living in the 13 colonies. Today we have about 332 million people living in the US.
- The first Independence Day celebration was in Philadelphia on July 4, 1777 and featured a parade, a dinner, and fireworks. The day wasn’t an official federal holiday until almost 100 years later in 1870.
- Thomas Jefferson was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence along with John Adams, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston.
- Jefferson was also one of the framers of the Constitution and wrote in a letter to James Madison that he thought the Constitution should be redrafted by every future generation.
- The “certain unalienable rights” of “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” was originally written “the pursuit of Property” by Thomas Jefferson.
- John Hancock, as the President of the Congress at the time, was the first to sign the document.
- Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were friends and then bitter rivals for 14 years over how the country should be run. They reconciled through letters written over 14 years before they both died on the same day, July 4, 1826, exactly 50 years after the first Independence Day.
- The Liberty Bell didn’t have anything to do with Independence Day and wasn’t called the Liberty Bell until 1830—the same time when it got its iconic crack.
- We import over $5.5M in US Flags each year from China, we spend over $1B on fireworks, and we eat around 150 million hot dogs.
The 56 delegates who signed the Declaration of Independence risked their lives and fortunes in declaring their intent to separate from England--treason.