What you probably didn’t know
For some people, the Fourth of July evokes feelings of patriotism and pride in our country and armed forces – for others, picnics, barbecues and fireworks displays. The holiday commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, which formally declared our Independence from Great Britain. While that may seem like commonplace knowledge to many, here are some interesting facts that you probably don’t know about America’s favorite holiday:
Everyone knows that Independence day is celebrated on July 4th every year, but according to John Adams, the second president of the United States, it should really be celebrated on the 2nd of July – the date the Second Continental Congress voted to declare our Independence from Britain.
1826 and 1831: The Death of a President
In the early proceedings of American Presidency, July 4th marked one of the greatest achievements of the American people and was likely celebrated as such. For 3 of the first 5 presidents, however, it seemed just as good a day to die as any. John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe all passed away on Independence Day. Even more uncanny is that Adams’ and Jefferson’s death were hours apart from each other on the same day.
The Union victory of Vicksburg took place on July 4th 1863 and was a major turning-point in the Civil War. The battle lasted an entire month, and afterwards, the town of Vicksburg refused to celebrate Independence Day for the next 81 years.
Although July4th was publicly recognized as America’s “birthday” since the day the Declaration of Independence was signed, it wasn’t actually officially a holiday until Congress made it so nearly 100 years later.
1884: A French Birthday Present, Size XXL
After 4 months of assembly under French supervision, the United States received it’s largest birthday present ever on July 4th, 1884 – The Statue of Liberty. That same year, miners in Swan City, Colorado blew up their city’s post office simply because the town had not supplied them with fireworks appropriate for celebrating the day of Independence.
1912: The Fourth Goes Global
America isn’t the only country that celebrates July 4th – Denmark also celebrates the Independence of the United States, considering thousands of Danes emigrated over seas back in 1912!
1938: Federal Employees Rejoice
After it took Congress almost 100 years to actually declare July 4th as a federal holiday, it took them nearly another 70 years to give their federal employees a paid day off. Federal Employees didn’t receive the luxury until July 4th, 1938.
2011: 21st Century Problems
Considering three presidents have already died on July 4th, some are quick to believe that there is a reason why aside from mere coincidence. Back in 2011, internet hackers hacked into Fox New’s Twitter account and tried to convince the American Public that President Obama had become the fourth. In actuality, he was safely in the White House barbecuing. The Secret Service were not amused.