The United States is gearing up to celebrate 247th anniversary of its independence on 4th July. The celebrations involve parades, fireworks, official ceremonies and events and picnic gatherings by the citizens. “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the national anthem of the United States is sung during various events to mark the historic day.
Here are five interesting facts related to 4th of July- US Independence Day.
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Voting for Independence was not done on July 4th
The second Continental Congress voted for America’s Independence on July 2. July 4, 1776, is significant because on the day Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence document.
In fact, John Adams who was important leader of the American war of Independence and the second US President, predicted 2nd July to be celebrated as Independence Day. In a letter to his wife, Abigail, Adams wrote: “The second day of July, 1776, will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illumination, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore.”
The Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and other documents were secretly stored at Fort Knox after the attack on Pearl Harbour during World War II
The attack on Pearl Harbour by Japan on December 7, 1941, during World War II, was a major event in US’ history. While it raised grave questions about national security, Secret Service Agent Harry Neal was given the responsibility of moving “priceless historical documents” to a secure facility away from USA’s capital Washington, D.C. In consultation with librarian Archibald MacLeish at the Library of Congress, Neal got important documents including The Declaration of Independence, transported to Fort Knox, which is near Louisville, Kentucky. Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, the Gutenberg Bible and the Articles of Confederation were also moved to Fort Knox. The Declaration of Independence was returned to Washington, D.C., in 1944.
Reason behind folding the National Flag of United States in the shape of a triangle
The National Flag of United States is folded in the shape of a triangle to replicate the iconic “tri-cornered” hat that soldiers wore in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.
Fourth of July wasn’t a federal holiday until 1870
It was in 1870 that for the first time, 4th of July was made an unpaid federal holiday. It took more than 70 years for it to be declared a paid federal holiday, in 1941.
Bristol has been hosting the Fourth of July Parade for the longest time
Bristol, Rhode Island has been conducting Fourth of July Parade annually since 1785. It is considered to be the oldest annual 4th of July celebration to date.