It’s almost here – the 4th of July! I love traditions, and home town celebrations. Last year we were in Orlando for my daughter’s dance competition over the 4th of July, and while we had a great time, I’m glad that this year we are back to continue our traditions at home. On July 3rd we head to a cookout with college friends and attend their local fireworks. It’s five families and the gathering has really grown over the years as we’ve all added kids to the mix. On July 4th we generally have a lazy, relaxing day, and then at night gather with friends and family for our local fireworks show. However you celebrate the day, here are some lesser known and interesting facts about this important day. You can feel extra proud of our nation (and your knowledge of it!) when you whip these out during conversation:
- How many hotdogs are consumed on the 4th of July each year? Around 155 million! We also spend about $341.4 million on beer to celebrate our independence.
- July 2nd is the real day of Independence. We celebrate on the 4th because that’s when Congress accepted the Declaration.
- Did you know that the “pursuit of happiness” was originally written to be “the pursuit of property?!” Neither did I but I’m glad it was changed!
- Three presidents have died on July 4th – John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe. Conversely, one president, Calvin Coolidge, was born on the 4th of July.
- Several countries have used the Declaration of Independence as a symbol in their own fights for freedom. These countries include France, Greece, Poland, Russia, and many countries in South America.
- Somewhat ironically, the Philippines gained their own independence from the US on July 4, 1946.
- On July 4, 1778, George Washington ordered a double ration of rum for his soldiers to celebrate the holiday.
- Fireworks have always been an important part of July 4th celebrations. In 1884, miners blew up the post office in Swan, Colorado, because it wasn’t stocked with fireworks!
- Only two people actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4: John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the others signed almost a month later, on August 2!
- Benjamin Franklin proposed the turkey as the national bird! Unfortunately he was overruled by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who suggested the bald eagle.
Happy 4th of July and God Bless America!