Some historical items on the Declaration of Independence and July 4th
John Adams would have been pleased that we celebrate the holiday the way we do. It’s just he wanted us to do that on July 2, the date of the act of independence. The Declaration which explains the act, was adopted on July 4.
Most people think The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776. No. On July 6, 1776, the President of the Continental Congress, John Hancock wrote a letter to the delegates that they needed to sign The Declaration of Independence. A resolution was passed on July 19, 1776 requiring the delegates to sign it. Of the 52 delegates to the Continental Congress then, two delegates (from Pennsylvania) refused to sign it. They were replaced.
So The Declaration of Independence was signed on dates in July, August, September and November 1776, and one delegate (Thomas McKean of Delaware) didn’t sign it until 1781. His excuse? He was in the Army!
Two of the signers, John Adams and Samuel Adams, were related to each other. Both were cousins
While the majority of the delegates were lawyers, judges, merchants or farmers, there were also among the signers: a surveyor, a soldier, a publisher (Benjamin Franklin), two physicians, a clergyman, and an ironmaster.
A group of settlers, calling themselves the “Fair Play Men,” gathered under what was called the Tiadaghton Elm in another part of Pennsylvania. Fed up with British rule of North America, they declared their independence of Great Britain on July 4, 1776, completely unaware what the Continental Congress was doing on that date in Philadelphia!
Up until 1945, Vicksburg, MS, REFUSED to celebrate July 4. Why? Because on July 4, 1863, Vicksburg surrendered to the U.S. Army under Grant during the Civil War
In the early 1990’s, the mostly British crew of an exclusive cruise ship wanted to celebrate the day with a sign to greet their mostly American passengers and make a statement that there were no hard feelings after all the problems the two countries had experienced in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, but nothing they came up with seemed right. A number of them adjourned to one of the bars on board the ship, and after a few brews [naturally] came up with a sign they all agreed upon. The next morning, the American passengers were greeted with this sign: “HAPPY BIRTHDAY, USA! LOVE, MUM.”
Gotta love the Brits… Couldn’t live with em, but gotta love em…