Why not spend a few moments with your kids teaching them some facts about this all important American holiday? It is vital that parents spend time educating their children about our country’s history.
Here are 5 little known tidbits about the Fourth of July 1776 and the Declaration of Independence.
- 1. John Adams thought the national holiday should have been July 2. He wrote to his wife that from then on the 2nd of July should be “solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other form this Time forward forever more.” That is because the original vote for separation from England–for independence–was cast on July 2. The vote on July 4 was to adopt revisions made to the Declaration of Independence. According to www.history.com, Adams is reported to have boycotted later 4th of July celebrations in protest.
- John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, two men who were most influential in the creation of this new government experiment, died within hours of each other on the Fourth of July, 1826–the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
- Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. They were John Hancock and his secretary, Charles Thomson. The majority signed on August 2. One didn’t sign until November 1776 and it is rumored that the last signature was not placed on the document until 1781! Richard Stockton renounced his signature after being captured and tortured by the British. After being released he again swore allegiance to the Revolution.
- Some of the first Independence Day celebrations were mock funerals for King George III. It was symbolic of the separation from England. Also included were often readings of the Declaration of Independence.
- In the original edition of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson included a rebuke to slavery. He stated that one of the reasons for independence should be that England encouraged slavery in the colonies. Its removal was one of the revisions made between July 2 and July 4.