“The Fourth of July—also known as Independence Day or July 4th—has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution. On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.” Credit: History.com
“Jefferson did not come up with these words out of thin air,” Davis said on “CBS This Morning.” “These were words and ideas that had been floating around for a very long time. Other people had written about things like ‘the pursuit of property.’ Jefferson, I think can say we say happily changed that to the ‘pursuit of happiness’.” Credit: CBS This Morning
More Fun Facts
- Only two men signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th 1776 — John Hancock (not the big signature!) and Charles Thompson, secretary of the Congress.
- Jefferson’s original draft was lost and the one eventually signed is the “engrossed” document and is kept at the National Archives.
- The printed version of the Declaration was called the Dunlap Broadside – 200 were made but only 27 are accounted for. One of these was found in the back of picture frame at a tag sale and sold at auction for $8.14 million to television producer Norman Lear. It now travels the country to be displayed to the public.
Credit: Library of Congress