In honor of the upcoming holiday, here are some (non-Will-Smith-related) Independence Day facts before the parades, picnics, and fireworks begin:
- Most of the signers of the Declaration of Independence actually endorsed the document on July 2nd, when the Second Continental Congress voted in Philadelphia to declare independence from Britain. Only two people signed on the 4th.
- Most Founding Fathers agreed on a July 4th anniversary, but due to the above, John Adams vociferously opposed the celebration of the holiday on the 4th. He insisted that the 2nd was the correct date and refused to partake in the festivities on that day.
- One President was born on the 4th of July: Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president, in 1872.
- And three Presidents died on the 4th. They included three of the first five presidents: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe. The second president, Adams, and the third, Jefferson, both died in 1826, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration.
- Independence Day has been “solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations” (John Adams) since 1776, but July 4th was only adopted as an official federal holiday in 1870.
Touro Libraries wishes everybody a happy, safe, and festive Fourth of July!