There is an iconic painting in which all the founding fathers of the Declaration of Independence are seen presenting the first draft of the document and signing it. However, according to the reputed historian, David McCullough, this painting is merely representative in nature and no such meeting of all the delegates ever happened in Philadelphia.
There are many other similar facts that the general American public is probably unaware of.
No, the Declaration of Independence Was Not Signed On July 4.
The Fourth of July is not the date on which the Declaration was formally signed. The Continental Congress had taken an official stand for declaring July 2 as Independence Day. Printed copies were signed by John Hancock and Secretary Charles Thomson to be delivered to the military officers and the numerous political committees. However, most of the other 54 men on the committee signed the official copy on August 2, while others signed it at an even later date.
The First Celebrations Were Wild and Raucous.
Upon the declaration of independence, the colonies let loose their years of accumulated frustration by bringing down the statue of King George III in Manhattan. The statue was melted into bullets later while the coat of arms was used as tinder for a bonfire in Philadelphia. In Savannah, Georgia, they burnt an effigy and conducted a mock funeral of the King.
Savoring Salmon On The Fourth of July Is A British Practice.
The tradition of eating salmon on the Fourth of July began in New England and it happened by sheer coincidence. At that time of the year, the rivers had an abundance of salmon and were hence served liberally right through the region. It found its way into the I-day celebrations and has stayed that way ever since.
Independence Day Holiday Was First Recognized by Massachusetts.
The state of Massachusetts was the first to recognize the Fourth of July as an official holiday. This was announced in 1781. However it was not until June 28, 1870, that Independence Day was declared as an official holiday for federal employees when the Congress declared the first four holidays for the country, the other three being New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Around 15,000 Independence Day Fireworks Celebrations Take Place Every Year.
Over 15,000 fireworks displays take place all over the country on the American Independence Day according to the American Pyrotechnics Association. The most expensive fireworks are displayed at the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular with the cost running into a couple of millions.
There are many other interesting facts associated with the Independence Day celebrations such as the billions that the countrymen spend on food on this day and the spectacular quantity of hot dogs that are consumed by the Americans on I-Day. Also, more beer is sold on and around the Fourth of July holiday than during any other time throughout the year.