Five Fun Facts …
- John Adams believed July 2 was the correct date to celebrate American’s independence and reportedly turned down appearing at various July 4 events in protest.
- The tradition of setting off fireworks to celebrate Independence Day began in Philadelphia on July 4, 1777. Ships fired a 13-gun salute in honor of the 13 colonies.
- Two Presidents died on the same July 4 in 1826, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, on the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Just five years later, James Monroe became the third President to die on July 4.
- In 1778, George Washington issued double rations of rum to all his soldiers to celebrate July 4.
- In the pre-Revolutionary years, colonists held annual celebrations of the King’s birthday. In contrast, during the summer of 1776, some colonists celebrated on July 4 by holding mock funerals for King George III as a way of symbolizing the end of the monarchy’s hold on America.