15 Fascinating Facts About Americas Independence Day

Were you aware that three former US presidents, namely John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe, all passed away on July 4th?

For many people, July 4th is synonymous with flags, freedom, and fireworks. It’s one of the most significant holidays in the United States, celebrated with barbecues, parades, and fireworks.

The day is steeped in history and tradition.

Every year, Americans observe the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

While you may be familiar with the holiday’s basic facts, there are many lesser-known yet fascinating facts.

Did you know that on July 4th, the Liberty Bell is tapped 13 times? Or that John Adams was of the view that July 4th was not the appropriate day to celebrate Independence Day?

Read on to discover 15 fascinating facts about Independence Day that will make you view the holiday in a new light.

John Hancock Inspired A Saying We Still Use Today

Have you ever heard the phrase “Put your John Hancock here”? We all know it means to sign something, but why is it such a common saying?

As it turns out, John Hancock, who served as president of the Continental Congress, was the first signer of the Declaration of Independence. But that’s not all. His signature was large, extravagant, and very noticeable.

Signing the document was a risky move – tantamount to treason. Legend has it that he wanted King George to be able to read it without glasses, which explains why it’s so large.

Two Future Presidents Signed The Declaration Of Independence

The famous document had several noteworthy signatures, but two of them would go on to become presidents: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.

After serving as George Washington’s vice president, John Adams became the second president of the United States. Although he didn’t enjoy the vice-presidency and described it as “insignificant” to his wife, he held the office for two terms and won the presidency in 1796.

Adams served as president for one term, losing to his vice president in 1800. After serving four years as Adams’ VP, Thomas Jefferson became the third president of the United States. He is credited with drafting and being one of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence.

John Adams Thought Americans Should Celebrate On July 2nd And Turned Down Invitations To Celebrate On July 4th In Protest

The Continental Congress voted on July 2nd, 1776, to declare independence from England. Two days later, the Congress formally adopted the Declaration, with the Liberty Bell ringing to celebrate the historic event.

Since the vote took place on July 2nd, Adams believed that this should be the day Americans commemorate each year. He expressed this sentiment in a letter to his wife.

“The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha in the History of America…”

While he was incorrect about the date, he was correct about how Americans would observe the occasion each year with “pomp and parade.” So adamant was he in his belief that July 2nd was the correct date that he declined invitations to appear at events on July 4th.

Fireworks have been a tradition since 1777 for Independence Day celebrations.

President Adams believed that fireworks should be a part of the 4th of July celebrations, even though they had been used in royal celebrations in many countries for hundreds of years.

Fireworks and freedom are often associated with each other.

George Washington celebrated the holiday with alcohol.

In 1778, during the Revolutionary War, Washington ordered a double ration of rum for his troops and an artillery salute to commemorate the anniversary.

Nowadays, most Americans celebrate with beer and wine.

The White House’s first formal anniversary celebration was in 1801.

The White House was completed in 1800, and its first occupant, John Adams, only lived there for a few months before Thomas Jefferson moved in.

Therefore, the first Independence Day celebration in the executive mansion took place in 1801.

The Jeffersons entertained guests with horse races, parades, and plenty of food on the grounds.

Three presidents and Founding Fathers died on the 4th of July.

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both passed away on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of Independence Day. James Monroe died five years later on the same day.

During that period, it was seen by many as proof that the United States were “objects of His care.”

July 4th became an official holiday in 1870.

The date didn’t become established as a national holiday until 1870, even though Americans began celebrating the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence the very next year of its adoption.

Federal employees weren’t paid for the holiday until 1938.

Calvin Coolidge was the only president born on Independence Day.

Coolidge was born in Vermont on July 4, 1872. He served as vice president under Warren Harding from 1920 to 1923 and became president after Harding’s death. He won the vote for president in 1924 and served only one term.

The oldest 4th of July parade began in Bristol, Rhode Island.

In 1785, Reverend Henry Wight held the first 4th of July Patriotic Exercises in Bristol, Rhode Island, which began with a speech and time to reflect on those who fought in the Revolutionary War. The parade is thought to have originated from people walking to the Patriotic Exercises.

On the Fourth of July, the Liberty Bell is tapped 13 times by descendants of the Founding Fathers to honor the original 13 colonies. The bell hasn’t been rung since 1846 due to an unrepaired crack. Americans consume 150 million hot dogs on July 4th, with Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs hosting a hot dog eating contest every year. Fireworks celebrations cost Americans $1.5 billion, with 15,600 people sent to the hospital due to fireworks injuries in 2020. One World Trade Center’s height of 1,776 feet pays tribute to the year of the nation’s independence.


1. What is Independence Day?

Independence Day is a federal holiday in the United States that commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, which declared the country’s independence from Great Britain.

2. Why is Independence Day celebrated on July 4th?

July 4th was the day that the Declaration of Independence was officially adopted by the Continental Congress in 1776.

3. How do Americans celebrate Independence Day?

Many Americans celebrate Independence Day by attending parades, watching fireworks displays, having picnics or barbecues, and spending time with friends and family.

4. Who signed the Declaration of Independence?

56 delegates from the 13 British colonies in North America signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin.

5. What was the reaction to the Declaration of Independence?

The Declaration of Independence was a bold move that was met with mixed reactions. While some Americans were elated at the prospect of independence, others were hesitant or outright opposed.

6. What was the first Independence Day celebration like?

The first Independence Day celebration took place on July 4, 1777, in Philadelphia. It included a parade, a thirteen-gun salute, and fireworks.

7. Why are fireworks a part of Independence Day celebrations?

Fireworks have been a part of Independence Day celebrations since the first one in 1777. They were originally used as a way to mimic the thirteen-gun salute that was fired in honor of the original thirteen colonies.

8. What is the importance of the Declaration of Independence?

The Declaration of Independence is important because it laid the groundwork for the principles of democracy and individual rights that are still central to American society today.

9. How many countries celebrate their independence on July 4th?

Only the United States celebrates its independence on July 4th.

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