It’s time to celebrate American independence! This 4th of July, here are some interesting Independence Day facts for you:
- The colonies actually declared independence on July 2nd. However, it wasn’t until July 4, 1776 that the Declaration was first signed and read to the American people.
- The original Declaration of Independence wasn’t written on paper, but parchment – a stretched animal skin treated with lime!
- The term “John Hancock” is a direct reference to the Declaration of Independence. John Hancock, then President of the Continental Congress, and the Secretary, Charles Thomson were the only signers to actually sign the Declaration on July 4th; Hancock’s signature is the largest and most noticeable of the 56. (The other delegates would sign at later dates.) Hancock’s signature thus became famous, resulting in “signature” and “Hancock” becoming synonymous.
- Benjamin Franklin, 70, was the oldest of the signers. Edward Rutledge, 26, was the youngest.
- John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both signers and Presidents, died on July 4, 1826, exactly 50 years after the reading of the Declaration of Independence.
- At the time of signing, it is estimated 2.5 million people lived in the colonies. Today, approximately 316 million people call the United States home.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,
that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.