The Fourth of July is a time for many of us to break out the red, white & blue and barbecues to commemorate our national day of independence. It has now been over 200 years since the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.
Here are a few fun facts about the Fourth of July to share with friends and family…
1. A Truly Young Nation
The average age of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence was 45.
The youngest was Thomas Lynch, Jr (27) of South Carolina. The oldest delegate was Benjamin Franklin (70) of Pennsylvania.
The lead author of The Declaration, Thomas Jefferson, was 33.
2. Men of Harvard
1 out of 8 signers of the signers were educated at Harvard (7 total).
Four each at William & Mary, Yale, and Princeton.
George Wythe was a professor at William & Mary and one of his students was Thomas Jefferson.
3. An Act of Treason
After signing the Declaration, John Hancock remarked that Congress must now “all hang together”.
Benjamin Franklin replied,
“Yes, we must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.”
4. Happy July 2nd
The initial date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress was July 2, 1776.
The next day, John Adams remarked in a letter to his wife Abigail:
“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America.
I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.
It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”
5. Date for History
Congress revised the Declaration for final approval on July 4, 1776.
The only two signers of the Declaration of Independence who later served as President of the United States were John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson (bitter rivals) died on the same day, July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration.
The Declaration of Independence is of tremendous importance to American history, as it outlines the reasons for their secession and outlines the famous American goals of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” The original document resides in the National Archives Rotunda in Washington, DC. The eloquence and earnest feeling of the wording and the results it brought leads many experts to call it one of the greatest statements in the history of modern civilization.
On the Fourth of July, we often celebrate by singing the National Anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and watching displays of fireworks displays. Click here for a list of San Diego fireworks being displayed in the area.
Every Fourth of July is a chance to reflect on how far the nation has come since that hot day in 1776, when the founding fathers risked their lives and reputations on a dream for a new world.