The Fourth of July, also known as Independence Day, has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues. Here are some interesting facts about our nation’s birthday:
- July 4 has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th Century. On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence.
- John Adams believed that July 2 should have been recognized as our Independence Day as it was the day the Continental Congress accepted the Declaration. Some changes were made and the final wording was approved on July 4.
- Most historians have concluded that only John Hancock and Charles Thompson signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 and that the Declaration was signed by the others nearly a month after its adoption, on August 2, 1776.
- Congress declared July 4 as an official holiday in 1870 as part of a bill to officially recognize other holidays, Christmas being one of them.
- The average age of those who signed the Declaration of Independence was 45. The youngest, at age 27, was Thomas Lynch, Jr of South Carolina. The oldest delegate was Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania at age 70. Thomas Jefferson was 33.
- On July 6, 1776, the Pennsylvania Evening Post became the first newspaper to print the now-historic Declaration of Independence.
- John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826, exactly 50 years after July 4, 1776.
- President James Monroe also died on July 4 and President Calvin Coolidge was born on July 4.
- Thomas Jefferson was the first President to hold a Fourth of July celebration at the White House in 1801.
- When the Declaration of Independence was signed, the population of the United States was 2.5 million, compared with 325 million today.
On behalf of the Voorhees Township Committee, have a safe and happy 4th of July.
** The Voorhees Arts Council is offering a Tween Art Camp for aspiring artists 8 years old and up. Camps will be held on Wednesdays from June 19th to Aug 21st with 2 sessions daily, the morning session times are 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the afternoon session are from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sessions are $25 or $20 for 2 or more signing up. Contact Marianne with any questions (609) 315-6218 or email at, email@example.com. This art program is sponsored by Holman Automotive.
** The “Smiles from Kara” 5k Run/Walk will be held on Wednesday, July 11. Race day registration begins at 5:30 p.m. and the run/walk will start at 7 p.m. at Eastern Regional High School. The cost is $25 for registration before July 8 and $30 the day of the race. Proceeds will be used to provide financial assistance for sports registration fees, scholarships and donations to local charitable events. Visit www.lmsports.com for more information and registration sign-up.
** The first show in our Summer Concert Series will be Thursday, July 25, and will feature Satisfaction/ The International Rolling Stones Tribute Show. This band is entering its 18th year showcasing the most authentic cast and costuming of its kind. They bring a colorful performance to over 50 years of classic hits honoring the Rolling Stones and their legacy. The show is free and starts at 7:30 p.m. on the “Great Lawn” at Connolly Park. A “Beer Garden” and food trucks will open at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.voorheesnj.com or call the show hot line at 856-882-SHOW.
** Voorhees Township is offering discounted tickets to Morey’s Piers in Wildwood. Tickets are available in the Municipal Clerk’s Office at Voorhees Town Hall. Prices vary according to the type of ticket and several options are available to residents and non-residents. For more information.