4th of July

4th of July


The Fourth of July, which is also known as Independence Day, celebrates the birth of American independence from Britain and our nationhood. On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in the favor of independence, and two days later delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, which was drafted by Thomas Jefferson. For more than 240 years, July 4th has been the day Americans celebrate this independence. For more than 240 years, July 4th has been the day Americans celebrate this independence. Although it has been a federal holiday since 1870,  federal employees were not granted a paid holiday until 1941.

While some of  the ideals of the Declaration of Independence have not been realized by many Americans, the document continues to be a beacon of light to ensure that all Americans, regardless of their identity, will experience the true sense of freedom.

A Few Fun Facts about the 4th of July

  1. It is widely believed that America declared independence from Britain on July 4, 1776. However, the official vote actually took place two days before, on July 2nd. and the “Declaration” was published in papers on July 4th.

  2. John Adams believed that July 2nd was the correct date on which to celebrate the birth of American independence, and would reportedly turn down invitations to appear at July 4th events in protest. 

  3. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826—the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

  4. Charles Thompson and John Hancock were the only two men who actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The other 54 delegates signed over the course of the next month.

  5. Fireworks date back as a tradition of Independence Day as early as the first anniversary in 1777.

  6. If you look at the bottom of the Declaration of Independence, you will see the  signature of one woman, Mary Katherine Goodard. She was one of America’s first female publishers. Goddard wrote her name at the bottom of all the copies of the Declaration that her printing presses printed and distributed to the colonies.

  7. In 1958, 16 year old Robert G. Heft designed a 50 star flag as part of a class assignment to commemorate the pending statehood of Alaska and Hawaii. Although he earned a B- on the assignment, he sent his flag to Washington, D.C for consideration. His flag was chosen as the official 50 star flag in 1960. It is important to note Robert’s grade was changed to an A when his flag was chosen!

If you are looking for ways to celebrate the 4th of July, check out:

A Guide to 4th of July Celebrations in Philadelphia 2023