The 4th of July: the glorious day when Americans have cookouts, watch fireworks, and attend parades.
But what are we really celebrating? And what else is happening on this day?
We've compiled a list of 10 things you might not know (but probably should) about our beloved 4th of July holiday.
1. Independence Day Should Really Be Celebrated on July 2
The second Continental Congresses actually voted for America's independence on July 2. In fact, founding father John Adams wrote a letter to his wife predicting "The second day of July, 1776, will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival." July 4 is only significant because that was the day that Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence document. Yet, even that highly celebrated document wasn't actually signed on the 4th. Rather, it was signed at a more leisurely pace throughout the summer of 1776. So, happy, er, 2nd of July?
2. Two of Our Founding Fathers Died on July 4th
In a bizarre, but oddly appropriate, twist of fate, two of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, passed away on Independence Day. "The publication of the Declaration of Independence may have accidentally made the Fourth of July the official day of independence of America, but the deaths of two of its founders cemented its creation of the date's designation," wrote FW's Danny Gallagher last year.