The history of the 4th of July is fascinating, but there are other interesting 4th of July facts every American should know. Here are six notable ones:
Some colonists celebrated Independence Day during the summer of 1776 by putting on mock funerals for King George III of England—symbolizing the death of the Crown’s rule on America.
The first annual commemoration of Independence Day happened on July 4, 1777, in Philadelphia.
John Adams, a Founding Father and the second president of the United States, strongly believed Independence Day should be celebrated on July 2nd.
He even refused to attend 4th of July events because he felt so strongly about July 2nd being the correct date.
Adams and Thomas Jefferson, a fellow Founding Father, both died on July 4, 1826. James Monroe, another U.S. president, also died on July 4th, but he passed in 1831.
Thomas Jefferson was the first president to celebrate Independence Day at the White House, in 1801.
The celebration featured horse races, parades, food, and drinks—similar to the 4th of July celebrations we see today.
Although the 4th of July has been celebrated each year since 1776, it didn’t become a federal holiday until 1870. And it didn’t become a paid holiday for federal employees until 1941.