As we get ready to celebrate Independence Day, it’s the perfect time to test your knowledge and see if you know these ten interesting facts relating to the 4th of July.

Signing of the Declaration of Independence

Photo: Declaration of Independence (painting) By John Trumbull

Top 10 Facts:

  1. The vote for independence passed on July 2, 1776. However, we celebrate the 4th when the Declaration of Independence was formally adopted. 
  2. The Declaration of Independence wasn’t signed by delegates until August 2, 1776.
  3. The first annual celebration of July 4th was held by Philadelphia in 1777.
  4. Fireworks have been a tradition since that first annual celebration, where the Pennsylvania Evening Post stated that “there was a grand exhibition of fireworks (which began and concluded with 13 rockets) on the Commons, and the city was beautifully illuminated.”
  5. Two of the most famous signers of the Declaration of Independence, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826, its 50th anniversary.
  6. In 1781, Massachusetts was the first state to make July 4th a state holiday.
  7. It wasn’t until 1870, that Congress passed a law making it a federal holiday.
  8. There have been 27 variations of the classic stars and stripes. The Flag Act of 1818 states that one star should be added to the flag on the 4th of July for each new additional state.
  9. The Star Spangled Banner didn’t officially become the national anthem until 1931.
  10. Annually on July 4th, the Liberty Bell is tapped 13 times by descendants of the Declaration of Independence signers as a symbolic ringing of the bell.

Photo: Independence Day Celebration in Centre Square, Philadelphia (painting) By John Lewis Krimmel

How many of these facts did you already know? Happy 4th of July! 

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Blog Written and Video Created By Lacy Hollin, Videographer/Content Creator for BCPL