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5 Interesting Facts About Independence Day + 10 Quotes

Happy 4th of July

Is July 4 the Wrong Date?

John Adams thought so and expressed his opinion to his wife in a letter. We celebrate Independence Day on July 4th, but The Continental Congress actually voted on July 2, 1776, to declare independence from England. However, Congress officially adopted the Declaration two days later, as the Liberty Bell rang to mark this historic event. The first public reading of the Declaration of Independence was on July 8, 1776. Because Adams so strongly believed Independence Day should be celebrated on July 2, he refused to attend events on the 4th of July.

White House graphic

First White House Independence Day Celebration

Although the Declaration of Independence was adopted in 1776, the first Independence Day celebration didn't take place in the White House until 1801, when Thomas Jefferson was president. He greeted diplomats, civil and military officers, citizens, and Cherokee chiefs in the oval saloon, which is now known as the Blue Room. The lavish celebration included a live performance by the Marine Band, horse races, cockfights, and parades; and there was an abundance of food on the outdoor grounds.

4 July Statue of Liberty

Strange Independence Day Fact - Three of the First Five Presidents Died on July 4th

Three American presidents died on July 4th, and two of them were in the same year. On July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of Independence Day, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson passed away. Thomas Jefferson, who was 83 at the time of his death had been ill for some time. He caught a fever on July 3 and died the next day. John Adams died five hours later at the age of 90. Many at that time saw this as proof that the United States were "objects of His care."

Five years later James Monroe, who had been the fifth president passed away from tuberculosis, at the age of 73. The Boston Traveler, a newspaper at that time, noted: "Again our national anniversary has been marked by one of those events, which it may be scarcely permitted to ascribe the chance."

Celebrate July 4th

July 4th Became a National Holiday in 1870

Although Americans loved celebrating Independence Day, it did not become an official holiday until 1870. And federal employees were not paid for this holiday until 1938.

Made in the USA

One President Was Born on July 4th

Another interesting Independence Day Fact is that Calvin Coolidge, nicknamed Silent Cal, was born in Vermont on July 4, 1872. He served as Warren Harding's Vice President from 1920 - 1923. When Harding unexpectedly passed away in 1923 Coolidge became president. He was then elected president in 1924 and served one term.

Relevant Quotes

American flag

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” — The Declaration of Independence, 1776

“Liberty has been planted here; and the more it is attacked, the more it grows and flourishes.” — Samuel Sherwood

 “One flag, one land, one heart, one hand, one nation, evermore!” — Oliver Wendell Holmes

“May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.” — Peter Marshall

“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” — Elmer Davis

“I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” — Nathan Hale

“We’re blessed with the opportunity to stand for something — for liberty and freedom and fairness. And these are things worth fighting for, worth devoting our lives to. And we have good reason to be hopeful and optimistic.” — Ronald Reagan

“America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.” — Harry Truman

“Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.” — John Milton, “Areopagitica”

“Find a moment, just a simple moment, to close your eyes and think of the men and women who protect the freedoms you enjoy. It’s a privilege, not a right.” — Matthew Lillard

Happy 4th of July!

4th of July fireworks

To learn more about why I write, and why I share my life here, please read this post - Uniquely You, For a Purpose.

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