Since 1776 there have been many different ways that July 4th has been celebrated. Philadelphia held the first annual commemoration of independence on July 4, 1777 by adjourning Congress and celebrating with bonfires, bells and fireworks. In 1778, George Washington issued double rations of rum to all his soldiers to mark the anniversary of independence. In 1781, Massachusetts became the first state to make July 4th an official state holiday. In 1870, the U.S. Congress made July 4th a federal holiday; in 1941, all federal employees were granted a paid holiday for Independence Day.
Here are some more interesting “Did you know’s?” about the July 4th holiday:
– The “Star Spangled Banner” was written when Francis Scott Key wrote a poem stemming from observations in 1814, when the British relentlessly
attacked Baltimore’s Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. The poem was later put to music, though not decreed the official national anthem of the United States until 1931.
– Three U.S. presidents actually died on July 4. Two of them passed away within hours of each other on July 4, 1826: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. The two had been political rivals and then friends later in life. The other to share the distinction was James Monroe, who died July 4, 1831.
– In 1776, about 2.5 million people lived in the United States, according to the U.S. Censure Bureau. In 2011, 311.7 million Americans celebrated
– On July 6, 1776, the Pennsylvania Evening Post became the first newspaper to print the now-historic Declaration of Independence.
No matter how you decide to celebrate the 4th of July, I truly hope that you and your families have a wonderful and safe holiday weekend!