Trivia buffs, test your knowledge of early American history, the Declaration of Independence, and the Founding Fathers of the United States. Did you know that the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain actually occurred on July 2, 1776—not on the 4th of July?
In a letter to his wife, John Adams wrote:
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.
Why We Celebrate Independence Day on July 4th
So why is Independence Day celebrated on July 4th? From the outset, Americans celebrated independence on July 4th because it was the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, not on July 2nd, which was the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress.
Another bit of interesting trivia is that most historians think the Declaration was actually signed on August 2nd, 1776, nearly a month after its adoption and not on July 4th as is commonly believed.
Did you know that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both of whom not only signed the Declaration of Independence but went on to serve as President of the United States, died on July 4th, 1826? Another Founding Father who became President, James Monroe, died on July 4, 1831, becoming the third President in a row to die on Independence Day.