10 Facts About Independence Day

The Fourth of July is on Monday and the United States of America will turn 240 years old!

We’ve compiled some fun facts about Independence Day that you can use to impress your friends while watching fireworks and celebrating America’s birthday.

  • Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on a “laptop” – that is, a writing desk that could fit in his lap.
  • Jefferson changed the wording of the Declaration of Independence from “the pursuit of property” to “the pursuit of happiness.”
  • John Adams and Jefferson, both signers of the Declaration of Independence, died on July 4, 1826. James Monroe also died on July 4th in 1831.
  • Only two people actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 – John Hancock and Charles Thompson.
  • Congress declared July 4th as an official holiday in 1870 as part of a bill to officially recognize other holidays, including Christmas.
  • At 27, Thomas Lynch, Jr., was the youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence; Ben Franklin, age 70, was the oldest signer.
  • The oldest, continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States is the 4th of July Parade in Bristol, Rhode Island which began in 1785.
  • The Pennsylvania Evening Post was the first newspaper to print the Declaration of Independence.
  • Americans began observing the Fourth of July as early as 1777 with a celebration in Philadelphia that included a parade, a thirteen-shot cannon salute, and fireworks.
  • Eight of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were born in Britain.

Got a fact we missed? Leave it for us in the comments!

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Article written by Sarah Wyland

Sarah Wyland
Sarah never gets in trouble for being on Facebook and Instagram at work, because its her job. As social media manager, she gets to tell the stories of travelers, teachers, and interesting places. Other titles she enjoys include dog mom to Knox, barre instructor, Crossfit athlete, avid reader, and world traveler.