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  • Six Things to Know for the Fourth of July

    Friday, Jul 04, 2014

    • The Declaration of Independence was written by five people: Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, the main author; John Adams of Massachusetts; Robert Livingston of New York; Roger Sherman of Connecticut; and Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania. It was submitted to the Continental Congress on June 28, 1776. No minutes were kept of the writing of the document, nor of the discussions that took place during the following days.
    • Although July 4th is celebrated as Independence Day, John Adams always felt it should have been July 2nd, the date the document was approved by Congress.
      John Hancock, President of the Second Continental Congress signed first, and his was the largest signature, making his name a synonym for the word “signature.”
      Benjamin Franklin, at 70, was the oldest signer, and Edward Rutledge of South Carolina was the youngest at 26 years.
    • John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only two Signers to become President, both died on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary. As he was dying, Adams comforted himself by noting that Jefferson still lived, but Jefferson had actually preceded him in death by five hours.
    • Fifth President James Monroe died on July 4, 1831, and Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President, was born on July 4, 1872.
    • In 1870, Congress made Independence Day a holiday for federal employees, but it wasn’t a paid holiday until 1938!
    • The Genealogy Center’s Our Military Heritage has biographies, unit histories and rosters, individual biographies and other information on Revolutionary soldiers, as well as photos, letters and other material on soldiers from all American conflicts.You can add material on your family’s military ancestors to this great site as well. Contact us for information. And take a few minutes today to remember what our nation’s founders have provided for us.

    Posted by: ACPL Genealogy Center