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Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on a 'laptop': unknown July 4 facts

Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on a 'laptop': unknown July 4 facts

AP images AP images

Did you know three presidents died on July 4 and one of them was born on this day? Some of these Independence Day facts just might surprise you.

  • July 2 is the real day of independence. But it is celebrated on the fourth because that was when Congress accepted Jefferson's declaration, according to author Kenneth Davis. 
  • And it was not until 1870 that Congress declared July 4 as an official holiday. So why wait almost 100 years? No one exactly knows, but it was part of a bill to officially recognize other holidays with Christmas being one of them. 
  • Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on a "laptop." But obviously it is not the lap we envision. It was a writing desk that could fit on one's lap. 
  • Ironic much? Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on the same day—July 4, 1826. And former president James Monroe died on Independence Day five years later in 1831. 
  • Conversely, former president Calvin Coolidge was born on this day in 1872. 
  • At first, only two men signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776—John Hancock and Charles Thompson. John Hancock penned the largest signature. 
  • On July 4, 1778, George Washington celebrated the anniversary by giving double rations of rum to his soldiers. 
  • Thirteen of the signers were 35 years or younger and seven were 60 or older. 
  • "The Star Spangled Banner" was originally a poem written by Francis Scott Key. It was later made into a song, but it was not deemed the official national anthem until 1931. 
  • Nearly 88 percent of imported U.S. flags are from china, while 97 percent of imported fireworks are from China. 
  • One in three of all hot dogs produced in the U.S. come from Iowa. 
  • Bristol, Rhode Island, continues the oldest July 4 celebration in the U.S. that began in 1785

Happy Fourth of July everyone!

Source: List25, History.com

Copyright 2015 WDAM. All rights reserved. 

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