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Do You Know The 5 Parts To The Declaration Of Independence? (+ 30 More Fun Facts)

Each year on July 4th, the United States celebrates Independence Day. This federal holiday commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.

  • For nearly 250 years, the country has been celebrating a day in history that inspires us still today. On July 4th, communities host speeches and ceremonies across the nation. Across the country, people crowd cities for parades and festivals. Cities deck the streets in red, white, and blue bunting and flags.
  • it was actually on July 2, 1776, that the Declaration of Independence began? It started with a letter to Britain’s King George to explain why the Continental Congress voted to declare America’s independence.
  • It was on July 4, that the final wording of the declaration was agreed upon.
  • The Declaration of Independence has five parts. They are: the Preamble, the Statement of Human Rights, Charges Against Human Rights, Charges Against the King and Parliament, and the Statement of Separation and Signatures.
  • Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence.
  • Thomas Jefferson, 82, and John Adams, 90, both died on July 4, 1826 within five hours of each other on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
  • James Monroe died on July 4, 1831
  • At noon, a “Salute to the Union” is fired, each July 4th, by any capable military base. This is a salute of one gun for each state in the United States.
  • In 2009, New York City hosted the largest fireworks display in the country.
  • 1777 – The First Anniversary – Bristol, Rhode Island, fired thirteen gunshots in salute: once in the morning and once again in the evening. Philadelphia hosted an official dinner for the Continental Congress. There were also toasts, 13-gun salutes, speeches, prayers, music, parades, troop reviews, and fireworks. Ships were decorated with red, white, and blue bunting.
  • 1778 – General George Washington gave his soldiers a double ration of rum and an artillery salute. On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, ambassadors John Adams and Benjamin Franklin hosted a dinner for their fellow Americans in Paris, France.
  • 1779 –  Since the holiday fell on a Sunday, celebrations were held on Monday, July 5th.
  • 1781 – The Massachusetts General Court became the first state legislature to recognize July 4th as a state celebration.
  • 1783 – Moravians in Salem, North Carolina, celebrated with a challenging music program assembled by Johann Friedrich Peter. The work was titled “The Psalm of Joy.”
  • Held since 1785, the Bristol Fourth of July Parade in Bristol, Rhode Island, is the oldest continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States.
  • 1791 – The first recorded use of the name “Independence Day” occurred.
  • 1801 – The White House celebrated Independence Day for the first time
  • 1820 –  Eastport Main held the first Fourth of July celebration, and it remains the largest in the state.
  • 1870 – The United States Congress made Independence Day an unpaid holiday for federal employees.
  • 1916 – The Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest is held at the original Nathan’s Famous at Coney Island.
  • 1938 – The United States Congress changed Independence Day to a paid federal holiday.
  •  Americans take their July 4 celebrations seriously. On this day, some 150 million hot dogs will be eaten!
  • In 2019, the United States imported $319 million in fireworks.
  • According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, the Fourth of July is the most popular day for grilling.
  • In 2020, the National Retail Foundation estimates Americans will spend $6.52 billion on food to celebrate Independence Day.
  • In 1958, a history teacher assigned a class assignment to redesign the national flag as both Alaska and Hawaii neared statehood.  Robert G. Heft, who was 16 at the time, designed a new flag using the old 48-star flag and $2.87 worth of blue cloth and white iron-on material. His design earned him a B-minus which he challenged by sending it to Washington D.C. to be considered by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
  • According to his obituary, Heft was one of thousands to submit a flag design but he was the only person who actually stitched together a flag and shipped it to D.C.  Once the flag was selected, Heft’s grade was rightfully changed to an A. His design became the official flag in 1960.
  • There is Something Written on the Back of the Declaration of Independence. According to the History Channel, a simple message is written upside-down across the bottom of the signed document that reads, “Original Declaration of Independence dated 4th July 1776.”   According to the same article, no one knows who wrote this or when, but it was believed to have been added as a label during the years of the Revolutionary War when parchment was frequently rolled up for transport.
  • The Declaration of Independence Was Written on a Laptop.  Okay, not a modern laptop, but still. Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on a writing desk that could fit over one’s lap. This device was referred to at the time as a “laptop.”
  • The Term “Sign Your John Hancock”  comes from an actual guy named John Hancock.  He was the president of the Continental Congress and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Sources:

National Day Calendar

Macs Adventure

Wheels for Wishes

CNN

Hocking College

The Planet D

 

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