1. The 2nd of July may be the more appropriate date to mark our nation’s Independence. Congress actually ruled it in favor of independence on July 2. On July 4, Congress accepted Jefferson’s declaration. Only two men signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th 1776 — John Hancock and Charles Thompson.

2. Americans began observing the Fourth of July as early as 1777, when the first-ever major celebration in Philadelphia included a parade, a thirteen-shot cannon salute, and fireworks. Congress didn’t make it an official holiday until 1870, when it was part of a bill passed to recognize major state holidays at a federal level — like Independence Day, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

3. Jefferson’s original draft of the declaration of independence was lost, and the one eventually signed is the “engrossed” document.

4. The printed version of the Declaration was called the Dunlap Broadside; 200 were made but only 27 are accounted for.

5. The oldest continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States is the 4th of July Parade in Bristol, Rhode Island; it began in 1785.

Mayfield Law Office and Staff hopes you all have a safe and wonderful Fourth of July weekend!