All kidding aside, Independence Day is a very important national holiday for the people of the great nation we call home: The United States of America. July 4 marks the celebration of the adoption of that all-important document called the Declaration of Independence. And it represents the day the Continental Congress of the United States decided it was time to separate itself from British rule.
The Declaration of Independence was first signed on July 4th, 1776. And it's exactly what it sounds like: a document declaring to the British Empire that its colonies were ready to do their own thing. That meant calling themselves the United States of America. Happy birthday, USA!
Remember how we just mentioned the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4? Well, that’s not exactly true. Actually, only two guys signed the Declaration on July 4. All of the signatures needed to make the Declaration of Independence official happened almost a month later on August 2, 1776. But somehow “Happy August 2” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
Ever hear somebody ask you for your “John Hancock” when asking for your signature? That’s because the first guy to sign the Declaration of Independence was a guy called … you guessed it: John Hancock!
We wouldn’t exactly call this a “fun fact,” but three former US presidents actually died on July 4. Two of them on the same day too! John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826. So the 2nd and 3rd United States presidents died on the 4th. And the 3rd president to die on the 4th was actually the 5th president James Monroe. Did you get all that?
“Ain’t no party like a White House party, cause a White House party don’t stop!” How's that for a little historical hip-hop? The first official Fourth of July party was held at the White House in 1801. And the parties haven’t stopped since!
You know those patriotic fireworks you set off on the 4th of July? Well, most of them are made in China! And those American flags you wave with patriotic pride on Independence Day? Guess where those are made too! Yup, an estimated 87.5% ($2.8 million) of imported U.S. flags come from China. So how do you say “Happy 4th of July” in Mandarin?
Speaking of foreign countries and Independence Day, the Philippines gained its own independence from the United States on July 4th, 1946. And Rwanda celebrates its own Liberation Day on the Fourth of July.
Do you like getting paid to celebrate Independence Day? Of course you do! And if you’re a federal employee, you can thank the 1938 U.S. Congress for that privilege! Independence Day was declared a paid federal holiday that year.
Do you need ideas on where to celebrate United States independence? Well, there are about 16 U.S. cities that bear the name “Independence”, including Independence, California and Independence, Missouri. Who wants to go to Independence, Wisconsin?