You look great at 238

It may seem like distant history but July 4, 1776 is only 238 years ago!

13 stars US flag by Betsy Ross

13 stars US flag by Betsy Ross

John Adams wanted the 2nd of July

That’s when Congress passed the Declaration of Independence

John Adams

John Adams

Only 2 people signed the Declaration on July 4th

Only John Hancock and Charles Thompson signed the declaration of independence on July 4th, the rest actually signed around August 2nd

John Hancock's Famous Signature

John Hancock’s Famous Signature

A Celebration to Talk About

Oratory in the days before movies, TV, and radio was considered prime entertainment & a speaker invited to deliver an Independence Day speech was expected to talk for at least two hours

A Rally

A Rally

Ripley’s made the Nation Anthem Official

In November 3, 1929 Robert Ripley drew a panel pointing out that the United States didn’t have an official national anthem.

At that time the United States was in the middle of Prohibition and the Star-Spangled Banner then was based off an old English drinking song!

The Star-Spangled Banner was made the official national anthem by Congress and Woodrow Wilson on March 3, 1931.

Ripley's Cartoon November 3, 1929

Ripley’s Cartoon November 3, 1929

Working Title

The song “The Star-Spangled Banner” was originally published with the title “The Defense of Fort McHenry”

The Star-Spangled Banner

The Star-Spangled Banner

Williamsburg, Virginia

Williamsburg, Virginia celebrated Independence Day late on July 25th—the day they were informed in 1776 that the declaration had been adopted.

Home of Washington

Home of Washington

Lucky President Number 30

Calvin Coolidge—the 30th President of the USA—was born on Independence Day.

Calvin_Coolidge-Garo-1

Got the Day Off?

Independence Day wasn’t a legal holiday in the United States until 1941.

Officially get the day off!

Officially get the day off!

…but Massachusetts made July 4th official 160 years earlier!

In 1781, the Massachusetts General Court became the first state legislature to recognize July 4 as a state celebration.

The Stockbridge Townhall, Berkshires County, Massachusetts, USA

The Stockbridge Townhall, Berkshires County, Massachusetts, USA

Rhode Island

On May 4,the Rhode Island legislature became the first to declare its independence from Great Britain

Rhode Island

Rhode Island

“Independence Day”

In 1791 the first recorded use of the name “Independence Day” occurred

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day!

 

4th of July!

Happy Independence Day from  Ripley’s Believe it Or Not! Want more stories like this? You won’t believe the collection Ripley’s has of the Assassination of JFK!