Happy Fourth of July…even if it is the Fifth ~Tanya Hanson

Some historians claim that the actual legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Britain occurred on July 2. Why? In one of his many famous letters to his wife Abigail, John Adams wrote that “the second day of July, 1772, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America…to be solemnized with pomp and parade.”


Well, a closed session of the Continental Congress did approve the colonies’ separation on July 2.  However, the actual document was declared to need a few minor revisions, and twelve colonies formally adopted it two days later, on July 4. It thus became the date of celebration.

To add more fuel to the fireworks, others claim the actual signing wasn’t completed until August 2, 1776.  Nearly a month later. This is because the thirteenth colony, New York, didn’t approve the declaration until July 19, with the official signing on August 2.

Let’s stick with the Fourth. On this date, July 4, 1826, the author of the document and our second president, Thomas Jefferson, died…as well as his rival and friend, third president John Adams. Just hours apart.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) was only 33 years old when he wrote the Declaration.



Some other notable Thomas Jefferson accomplishments: After fire destroyed the Library of Congress, he sold his personal library to Congress in 1815 to replace it. He spent his retirement at his marvel, Monticello, and from there, designed the University of Virginia.

John Adams (1735-1826) had earned enormous unpopularity when, in 1770, he defended the British soldiers responsible for the Boston Massacre. He had the good sense to marry Abigail Smith, who was so modern-thinking she had her children inoculated, controversially, against smallpox. Her devoted correspondence with her husband, (and Jefferson) is legendary, and she is considered one of America’s most influential first ladies. One of their notable accomplishments is producing our sixth president, John Quincy Adams, whose term 1825-1829 began in time for his dad to see it.



In 1831, the third president in a row died on the fourth of July, James Monroe, our fifth commander in chief, who was born in 1758. His two-term presidency (1817-1825) is known in America’s history as the “Era of Good Feelings”, a time of peace after the War of 1812.

God bless America!


(P.s. I have a new release already available on Amazon with print version out on July 12, so I’ll talk about that next time and give some copies away in a few weeks.)

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15 thoughts on “Happy Fourth of July…even if it is the Fifth ~Tanya Hanson”

  1. Hi Tanya! Interesting about the dates. Somehow “The 2nd of July” just doesn’t have the same ring to it. What did you do for the Fourth? It poured rain here in Lexington, so we watched the Capitol Fourth on PBS.

  2. Hi, Tanya. Love the trivia about Independence Day (whatever the real date was). Growing up, I remember the great parades and community celebrations in my small town. Like something out of “The Music Man.”
    This Holiday was a quiet one for me–lunch and a movie with my man. Then last night my neighbors through the block went crazy with fireworks. Sounded like WWIII. Spectacular but I know some of them must’ve been illegal for this area. Followed by a lovely late-night rain. Wishing a happy post-holiday Friday to you all.

  3. Interesting post, Tanya. John and Abigail were clearly dedicated to each other and the country. I had a book on their life but loaned it out and never got it back.

  4. Howdy all, thanks for stopping by. I’m away from the computer today being patriotic with the fam so am attempting to post from smartphone. I hope you like this little bit of history today. Hugs to all.

  5. Hi Vicki, I finally got a hold of my sis’s iPad so I can respond a bit better. I know…I even taught the declaration for american llit, and didn’t know about the second, sheesh. We had a lovely day swimming with the grand babies and with the fan at sis’s, then watched some ffireworks at the park. After a heat wave, we had perfect weather. But oh, do we need rain. Thanks for posting today xo.

  6. Hi Elizabeth, I too remember parades when I was a kid. Our neighboring town even cancelled their fireworks show this year due to budget cuts. Sheesh. We are having fun out of ten, going to luck with the herd n a few minutes.

    Sherri, I think the three presidential deaths is kinda eerie, especially Jefferson and Adams . They were such bitter rivals at time. Thanks so much for posting today..

    I’m doing a group reply because this iPad makes me sign in separately each time.

    Hi Linda, John and Abigail were indeed so devoted. David McCullough wrote a marvelous bio. Thanks so much for the comment today. Xo

  7. Tanya, how interesting. I’ve had a fascination with the presidents of our country but I never knew so many actually died on July 4th. Thomas Jefferson was such a revered man and I think his popularity hasn’t dimmed in this day and age. He accomplished so many things during his lifetime. And I certainly wish I could’ve known Abigail Adams. I think I would’ve liked her very much.

    Wishing you much success with your new release! Hope you sell a ton of them.

  8. Thanks, Linda. I think I would have loved talking with Abigail, too. Another amazing women from history. Thanks for the comment…trying to reply on smartphone LOL.

  9. What interesting facts, Tanya. I didn’t know that Jefferson and Adams died on the same day just hours apart. The country must have been heart broken. Not many people really give Monroe much credit, but peace and happiness is a great accomplishment in my book.
    I really enjoyed reading your blog.

  10. Thanks for stopping by today, Sarah. I really enjoyed finding these tidbits about the Fourth! I agree, peace is the best. Hope you had a wonderful holiday.

  11. I love historical facts and love reading about the history of our country and presidents. Thank you for sharing this info today!

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