Pump Up Your Patriotism this 4th of July!
With the 4th of July right around the corner, it's a good time to brush up on your knowledge of this annual celebration and to appreciate all it stands for.
The quest for independence was brought up in Congress and a committee, which included notable men like John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Ben Franklin, was created to help draft a statement to justify the United States’ break from Great Britain. On July 4th, 1776, Congress decided to accept this statement, known as the Declaration of Independence. Since that time, the celebration commemorating our separation from Great Britain's monarchy has continued on a yearly basis. As a holiday, the 4th of July celebrates both our independence and our unity as a country. Check out these seven little–known Independence Day facts:
1. There were multiple copies of the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson made copies at a shop run by John Dunlap, a Philadelphia printer. These copies became known as "Dunlap Broadsides," and it's estimated that 200 or so were printed for distribution. Just 26 copies have survived throughout the years, with the most recent copy discovered in 2009.
2. Hot off the presses! On July 6, 1776, the Pennsylvania Evening Post became the first newspaper to print the now-historic Declaration of Independence.
3. Many countries have used the Declaration of Independence as a beacon in their struggles for freedom. Among them, France, Greece, Poland, Russia, and a number of countries in South America.
4. The "Star Spangled Banner" wasn't written until 1814. Francis Scott Key wrote a poem stemming from his observations when the British relentlessly attacked Baltimore's Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. It was later put to the tune of an English drinking song, “To Anacreon in Heaven”. The Star Spangler Banner wasn’t pronounced the official national anthem of the United States until 1931.
5. Bristol, Rhode Island is home to the first and longest–running 4th of July Parade. The town has held the celebration every year since 1785.
6. Philadelphia honors the 13 founding colonies each year. Every 4th of July, the Liberty Bell is tapped (not rung due to its age and poor condition) thirteen times in honor of the original 13 colonies.
7. The Declaration of Independence spent many years on the road. After the signing ceremony on August 2nd, it was most likely filed in Philadelphia. On December 12th, threatened by the British, Congress adjourned and reconvened eight days later in Baltimore, Maryland, where the document remained until its return to Philadelphia in March of 1777. In the years to follow, it traveled widely with the Continental Congress throughout the northeast, then moving to Washington, DC in 1800.