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While staying out of the heat and waiting for evening festivities, I ran across a few interesting things about the July 4th celebration of the Independence of the US from Britain.

The Continental Congress actually voted to approve separation from England on July 2, 1776; however the final form of the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Congress on July 4th. The crowd celebrated on July 8th for the first time while waiting for the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. Read more at Two Ends of the Pen.

June 14, 1777 is flag day when the Second Continental Congress passed the Flag Resolution: “Resolved, that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.” There were different flags produced based on this description.

Hopkinson Flag. Francis Hopkinson claimed to have created the first official flag of the United States. However, Congress refused him this title based on the fact that multiple people contributed to the design.

The Betsy Ross legend is controversial, but this is a representation of her flag by Devin Cook.

No particular arrangement of the stars was specified, so there were other flags created individually. Here is the “Betsy Ross” variant by Devin Cook.

Three presidents in a row died on July 4th: Thomas Jefferson and John Adams in 1836, and James Monroe in 1831. Other fun facts and some great video at American History Fun Facts.

How did the suffragists celebrate America’s first centennial on July 4th in 1876 when they had no political rights? Find out on the National Women’s History Project blog.

And finally, check out the latest bathing suit styles as well as other July 4th celebrations from 1916 at Forgotten Stories. A Fantastic Fourth from 1916 at Forgotten Stories.

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