So our offices are closed today, but we still wanted to blog about something related to the Fourth of July. We thought we might post a few juicy facts that you might not know about Independence Day. Here we go:
- The signers didn't actually declare independence on July 4. The Continental Congress actually voted for independence from Great Britain on July 2.
- The Declaration was officially "adopted" on July 4, which is why we celebrate on that day.
- The first public reading of the Declaration was on July 8, 1776. The Liberty Bell rang out from Independence Hall in Philadelphia, summoning citizens to come and hear Colonel John Nixon read the document.
- Most of the signers of the Declaration of Independence (50 out of 56) actually signed it on August 2, 1776.
- The first "Fourth of July" event at the White House was held in 1804.
- Two of the men most responsible for the content of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, both died on July 4, 1836 -- 50 years to the day from the date on which the document was adopted. According to legend, a messenger dispatched from Jefferson's home to notify Adams of Jefferson's death passed a messenger sent from Adams' home to deliver the same message about Adams to Jefferson.
- Independence Day, celebrated on July 4, became an official federal holiday in 1870. It became a PAID holiday in 1941.
Today, of course, the Fourth of July is more often associated with hot dogs and fireworks. However you decide to celebrate the holiday, we hope you have a happy (and safe) time!