Celebrate the 4th of July by remembering the Declaration of Independence
After a year unlike any other, the 4th of July in 2021 is sure to be one of the most memorable celebrations in recent memory. Without a doubt, millions of Americans are going to enjoy summer cookouts, knocking back a few beers and watching fireworks fly to celebrate our great nation’s birthday.
However, how many of those people do you think will spend some real time thinking about what it is we are really celebrating and why? Of course, the 4th of July celebrates the memory of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Though we all learned about this hallowed document in grade school, many of us probably don’t remember the incredible aspects of this document that still impact the world’s most powerful nation to this day.
So, to prepare for this year’s 4th of July, let’s break down some of the most important and impressive facts about the document, and take a look at the whole piece with this Declaration of Independence – Transcript.
Fact 1. John Adams refused to celebrate the 4th of July as Independence Day
Though we all of course celebrate on the 4th, John Adams – the second president of the United States – actually refused to celebrate the holiday because the actual signing of the document took place on July 2. He refused invitations for 4th of July parties for the remainder of his life, until he coincidentally died on July 4, 1826, the same exact day that fellow president and declaration signee Thomas Jefferson died on.
Fact 2. Thomas Jefferson didn’t write the declaration alone
Jefferson was, of course, the primary author. But he did not do the work alone. In fact, five individuals who made up the Committee of Five all had a hand in writing it. The committee included Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Livingston and Roger Sherman. In all, the original draft was edited 86 times before it was finally approved.
Fact 3. The declaration wasn’t just about independence
Though independence from the British Empire was of course the primary goal behind the writing of the Declaration of Independence, it was also about proving a unification of the 13 colonies that would make up the first United States of America. The reason why this was so important was because the colonies needed military aid from other superpowers to continue the Revolutionary War. In order to gain the legitimacy to gain such support from countries like France, the 13 colonies needed to prove that they were unified and no longer viewed as single entities. It worked, and France went on to serve as the United States’ first military ally that helped win the Revolutionary War in a major way.
Fact 4. There actually is something written on the back of the Declaration of Independence
No, there is a treasure map on the back like in “National Treasure,” but there is a message that states “Original Declaration of Independence dates 4th July 1776.”
Story by Brad Bernanke