Happy Independence Day!
Today, the United States of America celebrates its 238th year of independence (Declaration of Independence) from Great Britain and I’m sure there won’t be a town or cities without parades, concerts, or fireworks. In honor of the nation’s birth of freedom, here are some fun facts about the 4th that you may not know about:
- The Fourth of July was not a federal holiday until 1941. Although July 4 had long been celebrated as a holiday by tradition, it was not officially a federal holiday until Congress agreed to give federal employees the day off with pay.
- John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both leaders in the American Revolution and U.S. presidents as well as personal friends, died on the same day, July 4, 1826 (within five hours of each other). Their deaths were 50 years after the Declaration of Independence, both men had signed.
- James Monroe, fifth president of the United States, died five years after Adams and Jefferson on July 4, 1831.
- Calvin Coolidge (30th president of the United States) was born on July 4, 1872 in Vermont. He’s the only U.S. president to be born this day.
- In July 1776, there were about 2.5 million people living in the newly independent United States of America, roughly the same number of people who now live in Brooklyn, New York.
- After much debate, the Founding Fathers chose the bald eagle as the new American symbol and the centerpiece of the national seal. However, Benjamin Franklin wanted the wild turkey as our nation’s character symbol. I think not Ben!
- The 56 signers of the Declaration didn’t sign until August 2, 1776. Even then, 50 of the men signed it while the others signed at various times over the following months.
- On July 4, 1884, the France gave the American people an extraordinary birthday present: the Statue of Liberty.
For more fun facts, visit MSN Living.
Check out this short video about fourth fun facts: http://www.history.com/topics/july-4th/videos/bet-you-didnt-know-independence-day
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Resources: MSN Living