The History Of Independence Day, The Birth Of Our Free Nation

Learn more about the history of Independence Day!

Learn more about the history of Independence Day!

Next Wednesday is July 4th, which is, of course, Independence Day in the U.S. While we are all excited to take the day off of work and celebrate with our families and friends, it’s important to remember the history and significance of the holiday. Continue reading to catch up on the history of July 4th before celebrating at your family barbecue or local fireworks show.

July 4, 1776

July 4, 1776, is a date that every American should know about, as the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence and celebrated the birth of the free nation. The date has been a national holiday since 1870 and has since become a day for citizens to show the American flag with pride, and spend the summer day in the pool or at a parade with close family and friends. On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee presented a resolution with the famous words: “Resolved: That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”

Fun Facts

  • The vote for actual independence took place on July 2nd, and John Adams believed this was the correct date to celebrate the birth of American independence. In fact, he would turn down invitations to appear at any July 4th events in protects.
  • Of the 13 colonies, nine voted in favor of the Declaration, two voted no (Pennsylvania and South Carolina,) Delaware was undecided, and New York abstained.
  • John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence- July 4, 1826. President James Monroe also died on July 4th, but in 1831.
  • On the first Fourth of July, America had only 2.5 million citizens, but today there are about 326.7 million.
  • Thomas Lynch, Jr of South Carolina was the youngest to sign the Declaration at age 27, while Benjamin Franklin was the oldest delegate at age 70.
  • The current 50-star American flag was designed by a high school student in Ohio and has been the official flag since July 4, 1960.
  • More hot dogs are eaten on July 4th than any other day of the year- likely because of the tradition for barbeques and hot dog eating competitions. It is estimated that over 155 million hot dogs are eaten on the holiday in the U.S.
  • While The Fourth has been a national holiday since 1870, it wasn’t made a paid federal holiday until 1938.

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