With celebrations of fireworks and barbeques, we commemorate the day when delegates from the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia adopted the Declaration of Independence: July 4, 1776. (July 4 became a federal holiday in 1870).
In this Age of Information, when we get news almost instantly, it’s amazing to think how long it took for the word of the Declaration to spread. (Which of our Founding Fathers do you think would have taken to Twitter?)
An online article said that the Philadelphia Evening Press was the first newspaper to publish the Declaration of Independence, July 6, 1776. Word would not reach England for weeks (maybe months).
As you may know, both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1826. Another founding father, President James Monroe, also died on July 4, five years later in 1831.
We have one president who was born on July 4: Calvin Coolidge, born in 1872 in Plymouth, Vermont, where you can visit several sites related to our 30th president.
We have not visited the Coolidge homestead, but here are some fun facts about “Silent Cal.”
- His full name was John Calvin Coolidge (same as his father), but his family called him Calvin.
- Coolidge’s father, an authorized notary, actually gave the oath of office to his son in Vermont, where the then-vice president was vacationing when President Harding died.
- Coolidge, notoriously short on words, had a famous response to a woman who said she could get more than three words out of him. He said, “You lose.”
- Coolidge liked to sleep (9 hours at night and two-hour nap!)
- He was apparently a prankster. A book of presidential trivia says President Coolidge liked to ring a bell to summon his staff to the Oval Office, then hid under the desk. I wonder if ever jumped out to surprise them?
But, it’s no surprise that July 4 is a day to celebrate. Enjoy this important day in American history!
Happy 4th to you!
Nice! Calvin, one of the many over looked Presidents. I guess that means his mom had to skip the fireworks the year her presidential son was born.