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What you may not know about American Independence Day

This weekend, Americans will celebrate their Independence Day. This often includes parades, cookouts, fireworks, parties, and copious amounts of picnic food, friends and family. You likely have
traditions to help you celebrate the 4th of July that you’ve embraced since you were a child and have passed on to your children. You’ve taught them that July 4th was the day that the United States announced independence from England, when our Founding Father’s signed the Declaration of Independence and it’s been celebrated for more than 200 years with fireworks, hotdogs and strawberry shortcake.

However, there are some fun 4th of July tidbits that you may not know. Here are a few:

  1. America didn’t actually declare its independence on July 4th. In fact, the official vote at the first Continental Congress was actually on July 2nd, but the Declaration of Independence was published in newspapers on the 4th.
  2. Not everyone signed the Declaration on the 4th. The only person to sign it on July 4th was John Hancock, it took a month to get all 56 delegates together to sign it.
  3. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on the 4th of July. Actually, they both died on the same day in 1826 by a difference of only five hours.
  4. Do you indulge in apple pie on Independence Day because it’s the most “American” of desserts? Well, despite the popular adage “as American as apple pie,” it’s actually very much a European treat. Only one breed of apple is indigenous to America and came to the U.S. with early European settlers who brought fruit and the original recipe for apple pie.
  5. The current American flag was designed as a high school class project by a student. The project was assigned to students after Alaska and Hawaii became states. The student who designed it, Robert G. Heft, added two extra stars to the flag and received a B- for a grade. That is, until he sent the project to President Eisenhower for consideration as the American flag and a change of grade. His design was chosen and his teacher gave him the well-deserved A.

We hope you are able to reflect on the importance of this holiday over the long weekend with your friends and family. From all of us here at Metafile, Happy Independence Day!

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