Beyond the backyard cookouts, fireworks and patriotic parades, July 4 stems deep into American history.
If you payed attention in history class, you learned that the United States celebrates Independence Day to commemorate when congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. But the holiday harbors some lesser known facts:
1) July 2, July 4, or August 2?
In 1776, congress actually voted on Independence on July 2. John Adams was adamant about keeping that day in celebration, but he was outvoted. The majority of those in congress signed the document on August 2, just shy of a month after being introduced.
2) There IS a message on the back of the Declaration of independence.
Sorry National Treasure Fans, it is NOT a secret map. Instead, it reads "Original Declaration of Independence dated 4th July 1776" upside-down across the bottom of the document. Some believe it was a label when rolled up.
3) From fake funerals to celebrations.
In the summer of 1776, some colonists held mock funerals for British monarch, King George III. The next year, Philadelphia hosted the first anniversary celebration, even amidst war!
4) R.I.P. founding fathers.
Former presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both passed away on July 4, 1826. That year marked the fiftieth anniversary of the declaration they helped create.
5) Maligayang ika-apat ng Hulyo!
That's 'Happy Fourth of July' in Tagalog. The Philippines won independence from U.S. colonial control on July 4, 1946. The country also celebrates independence from Spain on July 12.