1. When did we declare independence from Great Britain? July 4th, 1776? WRONG. It was July 2nd. In fact, John Adams expected July 2nd to be our national independence day.
2. When was the Declaration of Independence SIGNED? July 4th, 1776, right? WRONG. It was signed by 56 different people over a six-month period. And most of them signed on August 2nd, 1776. It was formally ADOPTED by the Continental Congress on July 4th.
3. The first public reading of the Declaration was on July 8th, 1776 in Philadelphia. They rang the Liberty Bell to summon people to Independence Hall for the reading.
4. John McKean was the last person to sign the Declaration, in January of 1777.
5. The word "patriotism" comes from the Latin word "patria," meaning "fatherland." So if you're a patriotic American, you're saying the United States is your FATHERLAND.
6. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died on the 50th anniversary of the first Independence Day . . . July 4th, 1826.
7. Congress didn't make the Fourth a federal holiday until 1941.