#10: Captain John Smith created the first U.S. tourism marketing campaign when he coined the term New England.
#9: The first law code in the U.S. Dale’s Code of Laws Divine, Morall, and Martial was enacted in 1611 in Jamestown.
#8: George Washington gave the shortest inaugural speech of any president.
#7: The last letter written by Thomas Jefferson was dated June 26, 1826 was declining an invitation to participate in the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in Washington, DC. Jefferson was too sick to attend. Both he and John Adams died that year on July 4th.
#6: Three presidents died on July 4th: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams (1826) and James Monroe (1831). Calvin Coolidge was born July 4, 1872.
#5: The first submarine attack ever, occurred in the New York Harbor in 1776. Inventor David Bushnell, created the Turtle. It was a one person submersible vehicle. The pilot of was supposed to attach its torpedo, a powder keg, to the hull of the HMS Eagle. The pilot was unable to attach the keg when the Turtle became entangled with the Eagle’s rudder and surfaced before it could be planted. However the timer on the keg worked and it went off later causing a spectacular explosion in the harbor.
#4: George Washington was not the first president of the United States. He was the first president under the U.S. Constitution. John Hanson was the first president elected under the Articles of Confederation.
#3: Founded by Admiral Pedro Menendez de Aviles in 1565, St. Augustine, Florida is the oldest city in the United State.
#2: Independence from England was declared on July 2, 1776. The Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence two days later on the 4th. The first public reading of the Declaration of Independence occurred on July 8, 1776 in Philadelphia. The first public event did not occur until 1801 or 1804 and was held at the White House. Lewis and Clark held the first Independence Day observation west of the Mississippi at Independence Creek in 1805. Congress declared the 4th of July as a national holiday in 1941.
#1: The official signing of the Declaration of Independence occurred on August 2, 1776. It was signed by 50 of the 56 men. Thomas McKean was the last to sign in January of 1777. Their names were withheld for several months to protect the men. Had the colonies failed in gaining independence the signers would have been guilty of treason.