This Day in History: Declaration
August 2, 1776, The Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence.
Many people wrongly believe that the document was signed on July 4th. This misunderstanding arose because that was the day it was supposed to be signed.
However, as we all know, Independence Day is a national holiday; well, in 1776, Independence Day happened to fall on July 4th.
When Congress gathered to sign the document, they found that government was closed, and they couldn’t find a working notary. Naturally they were all bummed out, especially Benjamin Franklin, who was already sporting a “My Country Threw a Revolution and All I Got Was This T-shirt” t-shirt.
The day (and revolution) was saved by the quick thinking of John Adams (whose cousin, Samuel, invented beer). He suggested that they all sign it at their meeting next month, and past date the document. “No one will ever know,” he claimed.
So they all called it a day, and spent the rest of the 4th throwing rocks at the Liberty Hall Tower, seeing who could get closest to hitting the bell.