Do you know your U.S. history?

Here are some Fourth of July facts to ponder and share:


• Three presidents died on July 4: Thomas Jefferson and John Adams in 1826 and James Monroe in 1831. Calvin Coolidge was the only president born on July 4, in 1872.

• The Massachusetts General Court was the first state legislature to recognize July 4 as a state celebration, in 1781.

• The first recorded use of the name “Independence Day” occurred in 1791.

• The U.S. Congress established Independence Day as an unpaid holiday for federal employees in 1870. They changed it to a federal paid holiday in 1931.

• The Declaration of Independence was approved in a closed session of the Second Continental Congress on July 2, 1776, but most of the delegates didn’t sign it until Aug. 2. Although John Adams expected Americans would celebrate July 2, the date on the publicized copies of the document was July 4, which became the day Americans have commonly observed.

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