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4th of July (or Fourth of July) is an important day for the US. This is the date the annual celebration of America’s independence is held on. To celebrate America’s independence, many people take the day off of work to attend parades, have cookouts at their home, and many parties are thrown both at home and in bars, restaurants and venues. Many Americans buy 4th of July themed outfits for the parties they throw and attend, usually themed with the colors of the American flag: red, white and blue.
Little-Known Facts about US Independence Day
Although July 4th is the nationally-recognized US Independence Day, not everyone agrees!
Did you know that the actual date of America’s independence is July 2nd, 1776?
On that date, the Continental Congress declared freedom from Britain by approving a resolution – and delegates representing the state of New York were given the right to make the vote unanimous!
United States Independence
Former President John Adams drafted America’s Declaration of Independence on July 2nd. After two days of deliberation with the Committee of Five, it was finally put to print on July 4th, 1776 – which is why the national holiday is on July 4th. It says so on the document itself!
Three of the first five US presidents died on the day of US Independence. John Adams, the second President, and Thomas Jefferson, the third President, were great friends until Adams passed the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. They became bitter rivals afterwards, but were able to rekindle their friendship by writing each other letters during their later years. Famously, John Adams last words were “Thomas Jefferson still lives.” He had no idea his good friend had died approximately five hours earlier, also on July 4th, 1826.
James Monroe, the fifth US President, also died on July, 4th – the 55th anniversary of American independence.
An American Myth Debunked
It is a wide misconception that Benjamin Franklin wanted the national bird of the US to be a turkey. This was never the case. In a letter he wrote to his daughter, he said that the bald eagle design that was chosen looks like a turkey. This myth is further propagated by a cover of The New Yorker from 1962 where a turkey is imagined as the national bird of the US.
Benjamin Franklin did in fact dislike the choice of a bald eagle as the national bird of the US, penning to his daughter that “I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen the representative of our country. He is a bird of bad moral character,” due to the way the bald eagle hunts for fish by stealing it from the nests of other birds in a derelict fashion.