Here's four things you might not know about the Fourth

Julia LeDoux
July 02, 2020 - 6:44 am

As the nation prepares to celebrate a socially distanced Fourth of July this year while marking its 244th birthday, here are four interesting things you might not know about the holiday.  

If you think the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, you’re wrong. That’s just the day the Continental Congress formally dated, adopted and finalized the document. The Founding Fathers actually voted for independence on July 2.  

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While John Hancock and Charles Thomson signed early copies of the Declaration on July 4 for military officers and political groups, the majority of the other Founding Fathers began signing the official document on August 2.

The first state to recognize the Fourth of July as an official holiday was … Massachusetts. The Bay State made it a holiday in 1781.

Endings and beginnings. Presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died within hours of each other on July 4, 1826. President James Monroe died on July 4, 1831, while President Calvin Coolidge was born on July 4, 1872.

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Hamburgers, hot dogs and salmon? For many New Englanders, eating salmon on the Fourth of July is a tradition. Salmon are abundant in rivers throughout the region at this time of year. 

Speaking of hot dogs, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, Americans will eat about 150 million hot dogs this Independence Day. That amount of hot dogs would stretch from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles, California more than five times.  

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