A handout photo shows the Declaration of Independence on the front page of the Pennsylvania Evening Post dated July 6, 1776 provided by Seth Kaller, Inc., on June 26, 2013
A handout photo shows the Declaration of Independence on the front page of the Pennsylvania Evening Post dated 6 July 1776 provided by Seth Kaller, Inc., on 26 June 2013.Reuters File

Fourth of July is a national holiday in the United States, celebrated as the country's Independence Day.

It was on 4 July 1776, when the declaration of independence from Great Britain was published and signed by 56 representatives of the 13 American colonies. 

While, largely, Thomas Jefferson is credited for drafting the Declaration, he was not alone. There was a Committee of five men - Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Roger Sherman and Robert Livingston, who were involved in making the final draft of the Declaration of Independence.

This year, Fourth of July will fall on a Saturday. All government offices and schools will remain closed on the day as it is a federal holiday. According to Timeanddate, the first person who discussed on how the US Independence Day should be celebrated was John Adams, the second President of United States.

In a letter to his wife Abigail, President Adams wrote on 3 July 1776: "pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations" should be held across the United States. 

Here are some facts about the US Independence Day:

  • Even though the declaration of Independence was adopted on 2 July 1776, the final version of the declaration was approved by the Congress only on 4 July.
  • The US flag was nick-named Old Glory by Captain William Driver, a ship-master from Massachusetts.
  • The "Star Spangled Banner" became the national anthem of the country only in 1931 even though the poem was written in 1814.
  • Though today "Yankee Doodle" is sung as a patriotic song across US, it was originally sung by the British army soldiers mocking the 'Yankees' they had fought with during Indian and French War.
  • The Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 men representing the 13 colonies. The first person to sign the Declaration of Independence was John Hancock.
  • The American flag used today has 50 stars representing the number of US states and 13 alternate red and white stripes depicting number of erstwhile colonies. However, the original flag, adopted in 1777 created by Betsy Ross, had only 13 stars. 
  • Coincidentally, three US Presidents have died on Fourth of July. Even more bizarre is the fact that Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died within five hours of each other on Independence Day. Five years later, James Monroe, who was the fifth president of the United States died on 4 July, making him the third US president to die on the Independence Day.