5 things you didn't know about America's Independence Day

Fourth July celebrates the Founding Fathers' declaration of independence in 1776 which has a fascinating history.

America will beautifully don red, white and blue on July 4 to celebrate the nation's independence with barbecues, parades, fireworks among other things.

Check out these facts you might not have known about the holiday.

1. July 4 wasn't actually voted by congress as independence day

Twelve of thirteen states approved a resolution for independence on July 2, not July 4, when the declaration was actually adopted. New York didn't vote until July 9. Many of the signers didn't attach their names to the document until August 2.

John Adams famously insisted the annual celebration of independence be held July 2, not July 4, and refused to attend any events on the latter day.

2. The Fourth of July didn't become an official holiday until over a century after America declared its independence. 

In 1776, John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, that American independence should be celebrated with “pomp and Parade…Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other.”

Though early celebrations began the following year, the Fourth of July wasn't designated a federal holiday until 1870. In 1941, it became a paid holiday for federal employees.

3. In a bizarre coincidence, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died on July 4, 1826 — the nation's 50th birthday. 

The two founding fathers and political adversaries died within five hours of each other.

As Adams lay on his deathbed, unaware that Jefferson had died earlier that day in Monticello, he reportedly spoke his last words: "Jefferson still survives".

James Monroe was the third president to die on July 4: he passed away in 1831.

4. Calvin Coolidge is the only president to be born on July 4. 

Coolidge, the 30th U.S. president, was born on Independence Day in 1872.

Other July 4 birthdays include first daughter Malia Obama, gangster Meyer Lansky, author Nathaniel Hawthorne, and reality TV star Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino.

5. The United States isn't the only country to celebrate independence on July 4. 

The Philippines gained its independence from U.S. colonial control on July 4, 1946, and the day became a national holiday.

In 1962, however, the day was changed to June 12 in light of rising Filipino nationalism and resentment toward prior American colonialism. July 4 remains on the books as "Philippine Republic Day," but isn't widely observed.


Unblock notifications in browser settings.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: eyewitness@pulse.com.gh