Daily Archives: July 4, 2012

Independence Day

And so to the 3rd in my series of “On this day in History”.

Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the Declaration of Independence on July 4 1776, declaring independence from Great Britain. 

Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions and political speeches and ceremonies.  In addition there are usually various other public and private events celebrating the history, government and traditions of the United States. 

Historians have long disputed whether Congress actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, even though Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin all later confirmed that they had signed it on that day.  Most historians have concluded that the Declaration was signed nearly a month after its adoption, on August 2, 1776, and not on July 4 as is commonly believed.

In a remarkable coincidence, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only signers of the Declaration of Independence later to serve as Presidents of the United States died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration.  Although not a signer of the Declaration of Independence, but another Founding Father who became a President, James Monroe, died on July 4, 1831, thus becoming the third president in a row who died on this memorable day.  Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President, was born on July 4, 1872, and, so far, is the only President to have been born on Independence Day.

Poor Barack Obama – he was born on 4th August 1961 – exactly a month too late !!!

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