What So Proudly We Hail

With independence Day this Tuesday and in the spirit of July 4th (and the spirit of America), I thought this week’s closing thoughts should recognize some interesting facts about the holiday and our founding fathers who placed their lives on the line to establish our country. Here’s to all who have sacrificed their lives for freedom.

July 2, 1776, was actually the day that independence was declared from Great Britain, as part of a resolution passed by Congress on that day. On that day, John Adams declared that July 2nd would go down in history as America’s day of independence.

The 4th of July was not declared a national holiday until 1941.

Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national animal but was outvoted when John Adams and Thomas Jefferson chose the bald eagle.

The national anthem is actually set to the tune of an old English drinking song called To Anacreon in Heaven.

The stars on the original American flag were arranged in a circle to ensure that all colonies were equal.

John Adams last words were “Jefferson lives”, ironically Jefferson had passed away hours before.

Both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on Independence Day, July 4, 1826.

The 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence did not sign at the same time, nor did they sign on July 4, 1776. The official event occurred on August 2, 1776, when 50 men signed it.

The names of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were withheld from the public for more than six months to protect the signers. If independence had not been achieved, the treasonable act of the signers would have, by law, resulted in their deaths.

Thomas McKean was the last to sign in January, 1777.

The Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress on July 4th. It wasn’t until almost 12 years later, when the Constitution was ratified, that the country officially became the United States of America.

Thomas Jefferson was 33 years old when he wrote the Declaration of Independence. It contained 1,817 words. Congress made 68 changes, removing 480 words and leaving the final version at 1,337 words.

The number of rounds shot in a military 21-gun salute, comes from adding up the digits in 1776.

2.5 million people were estimated to be living in the US in July 1776. Today there are an estimated 307 million.

The original 13 colonies were Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Virginia.

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