Fourth of JulyJuly 4th, 2014 at 4:02 am by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, News, Weather
“The legal separation of the 13 Colonies from Great Britain actually occurred on July 2, 1776, when the 2nd Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence (from Great Britain).After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the wording of the Declaration, finally approving it on July 4. A day earlier, John Adams had written to his wife, Abigail: “The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”
His prediction was off by two days, but it’s pretty much what many of us will do today. From the outset, Americans celebrated independence on July 4, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress. Historians have long disputed whether Congress actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, even though Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin all later wrote separately that they had signed it on that day. At one point during that day, it was noted the temperature was 76° and that a thundershower occurred at 4 pm.
In a remarkable coincidence, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only signers of the Declaration of Independence later to serve as President, died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration. Although not a signer of the Declaration of Independence, but another Founding Father who became a President, James Monroe, also died on July 4 – in 1831, thus becoming the third President in a row who died on July 4th. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President, was born on July 4, (in 1872), and is the only President to have been born on Independence Day.”