Stars, Stripes, and History

Posted on June 27, 2016

By Candy Jones-Guerin

Our Nation’s largest birthday celebration is just around the corner and we’re excited to get the party started!

On July 4, 1776, the thirteen colonies claimed their independence from England, an event which eventually led to the formation of the United States. Each year on July 4th, we don our red, white, and blue to pay homage and celebrate with food, friends, and fireworks.

There are also a lot of lesser known facts about this important day. Take note of these and surprise whomever you celebrate with.

Did you know…

  • Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on a “laptop,” which was a writing desk that could fit on one’s lap.
  • Including John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, a total of three US presidents have died on July 4th. James Monroe is the third president to share this fate.
  • According to author Kenneth C. Davis, July 2nd is the real day of Independence, but it’s celebrated on the fourth because that’s when congress accepted Jefferson’s declaration.
  • Due to concerns about cracking the iconic instrument, the Liberty Bell has not been rung since 1846. Instead, every year, to mark the Fourth of July, the 2,000-pound bell is tapped 13 times to signal for bells across the country to start ringing.

If you haven’t gotten your fill, request a free trial and dig into these great eBooks available on the Gale eBooks on GVRL platform.

Primary Sources of American Political Documents: Understanding the Declaration of Independence, 1st Edition
June 2016
The Declaration of Independence became the cornerstone document of our democratic nation. But why was it written? What influenced its author, Thomas Jefferson, and what made it so revolutionary? Discover how this document shaped the foundation of a nation, and how it continues to influence American government today.

American Eras: Primary Sources: Revolutionary Era (1754-1783), 1st Edition
April 2015
A period of philosophical enlightenment, a thriving slave trade, and revolutionary war comes alive for students in this volume of American Eras: Primary Sources. Helpful annotations and contextual information accompany excerpts from seminal documents—such as the Articles of Confederation, precursor of the Constitution; “Common Sense,” Thomas Paine’s influential plea for independence; and the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War—as well as numerous lesser-known documents and images not readily available to readers.

The Declaration of Independence, 1st Edition
January 2016
Learn more about the Declaration of Independence and how it’s regarded as America’s most important document, which set down the reasons for the colonies to break away from British rule.


Megan McCarthy

About the Author

Candy is an explorer and educator with a passion for technology and the latest trends. Living and teaching ‘on the road’ for many years taught her a lot about how to build stronger communities and schools.


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