Independence Day: Fun Facts About July 4th

Posted July 3, 2015 by Amanda | 2 Comments

On July 4, the United States celebrates Independence Day! On this day, the entire country celebrates the adoption of one of the most important documents the history of the nation, the Declaration of Independence. Drafted by Thomas Jefferson, the document declared the 13 American colonies freedom and independence from the British Empire.

As we prepare to celebrate with fireworks, parades and barbecues, check out these fun facts about the holiday:


1. John Hancock, the President of the Continental Congress, was the first person to sign his name. According to legend, he signed his name largely and clearly so that King George could read it without his spectacles.

2. Two signers of the Declaration of Independence would later serve as President of the United States – John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.

3. In total, 56 people signed the Declaration of Independence.


4. Thomas Jefferson’s original draft of the manuscript was lost. The one that was eventually signed was the “engrossed” copy. He wrote the Declaration of Independence on a portable lap desk of his own design.

5. The oldest delegate to sign the Declaration of Independence was Benjamin Franklin, who was 70 years old. The youngest was Thomas Lynch of South Carolina. He was 27.

6. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on the same day, July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

7. James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States, also died on Independence Day in 1831.


8. So far, Calvin Coolidge is the only U.S. President to have been born on Independence Day. He was born on July 4, 1872 in Plymouth Notch, Vermont.

9. The first Independence Day celebration took place on July 8, 1776, where the Declaration was read to the public for the first time.


10. Despite the legends, the Liberty Bell in Pennsylvania was not rung on July 4, 1776. Most historians agree that the Liberty Bell was likely rung on July 8, 1776 during the first Independence Day celebration. Today, the Liberty Bell is tapped every July 4. It is tapped 13 times in honor of the original 13 colonies.


11. About 200 “Dunlap Broadside” copies were made of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Only 26 of these are known to have survived.

12. Patriotic songs are a staple of every Fourth of July. But did you know one of the classics, “Yankee Doodle” was originally sang by the British before the American Revolutionary War? British soldiers sang it to mock the disheveled, disorganized colonial “Yankees” during the French and Indian War. In fact, “doodle” once meant “simpleton.”

13. There is something written on the back of the Declaration of Independence and it is not a treasure map. A simple message is written upside-down across the bottom, “Original Declaration of Independence dated 4th July 1776.”

How will you be celebrating the Fourth of July?

Post written by Amanda

Amanda is the Marketing Communications Manager at Geni. If you need any assistance, she will be happy to help!

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