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This contest is fueled by the following news: Happy Fourth of July! Well ... not really. In point of fact, the colonies in North America declared their independence from England on July 2nd. The Declaration of Independence ended up being re-written and finally ratified and signed two days later, on July 4th. But, on that day, only two people were around to sign the Declaration of Independence: John Hancock, who was the president of the Continental Congress, and Charles Thomson, the Secretary of the Congress. Once signed, the Declaration was sent to the printer -- two hundred copies being produced. One of these reproductions was sent to General George Washington who was in the field and fighting the British forces. A copy of the Declaration did not reach England for over a month. The document arrived on August 10, 1776. Most of the delegates to the Continental Congress actually signed the Declaration on August 2nd. Two of the members or delegates never signed the Declaration at all. In the end, 56 people signed the document. Benjamin Franklin is the person responsible for celebrating the Fourth of July with fireworks, the first celebration occurring one year after the Declaration was ratified and signed. Bristol, Rhode Island, is the site of the oldest Fourth of July celebration that included cannon fire, 13 rounds of canon fire in the morning and again in the evening -- one round for each of the 13 colonies.