John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only signers of the Declaration of Independence later to serve as Presidents of the United States, died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration. another Founding Father who became a President, James Monroe, died on July 4, 1831, thus becoming the third President in a row who died on the holiday. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President, was born on July 4, 1872.
In 1783, Moravians in Salem, North Carolina, held a celebration of July 4 with a challenging music program assembled by Johann Friedrich Peter. This work was titled “The Psalm of Joy.” This is recognized as the first recorded celebration and is still celebrated there today.
the Fourth of July and Independence Day, July 4th has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941,
Moravian settlers in NC were the first Americans to officially celebrate the 4th of July. But they weren’t partying in honor of military victory. They were thanking God for peace.
At the nation’s first official Independence Day celebration. The parade was solemn, with reverent music and the call-and-response singing of two choirs.
They were thanking God for peace.
Ecstatic over both victory and peace, Alexander Martin, the governor of the new state of North Carolina, proclaimed July 4 a day of public thanksgiving. Governor Martin, stopped in the thriving settlement of Salem on June 30 and mentioned the proclamation.
Despite the short notice, Salem and the other Moravian villages that made up the Wachovia settlement scrambled to put together suitable observances. All the villages celebrated, by ringing bells or attending church. But the grandest, most extensive celebration was at the settlement’s main town, Salem. that gives Salem its claim to the first-ever Fourth of July celebration.
by Bill Mixon