As you're watching fireworks tonight, consider this: If John Adams had had his way, you would have had a three-day weekend. That's because the second president believed Independence Day should have been celebrated on July 2, when the Founding Fathers voted for independence, rather than the day John Hancock signed the Declaration itself. A few more fascinating Fourth facts, courtesy of ABC News:
- Three of the first five presidents—John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe—died on July 4. Calvin Coolidge, on the other hand, was born on the Fourth, as was Malia Obama.
- There's another country that's big on the holiday: Denmark. Extensive Danish emigration to the US prompted the launch of celebrations in 1912. Now, a festival in the city of Rebild calls itself the biggest Fourth party outside the US; Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush have visited.
- Boston made the Fourth a city holiday in 1783, and North Carolina deemed it a statewide holiday the same year. It's only been a federal holiday since 1870, and federal workers didn't get a paid day off until 1938.
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