Friday is the Fourth of July, the day when the United States was officially born, so to speak. Right? Well, maybe not exactly…
Here are some interesting facts about our nation’s most celebrated day that you can brag about knowing at your BBQ. I guarantee you’ll be the hit of the party! Of course, that keg of beer you brought had nothing to do with that…
1. Happy Second of July!
The initial date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress was July 2, 1776.
The next day, John Adams remarked in a letter to his wife Abigail:
“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America.
I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.
It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”
2. Patriots to the End
Congress revised the Declaration for final approval on July 4, 1776.
The only two signers of the Declaration of Independence who later served as President of the United States were John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson (bitter rivals) died on the same day, July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration.
3. Check Your Pay Stubs
Congress made Independence Day an official unpaid holiday for federal employees in 1870.
(In 1938, Congress changed Independence Day to a paid federal holiday)
4. Not Too Surprising…
87.5% ($2.8 million) of imported U.S. flags are from China.
5. Even Less Surprising
97% ($190.7 million) of imported fireworks are from China.
6. Don’t Want to Cause More Damage
Every 4th of July the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is tapped (not actually rung) thirteen times in honor of the original thirteen colonies.
7. Give Me 1 Iowa Dog with Everything On It
One of out every four pork hot dog consumed in the U.S. originates from Iowa.
If not Iowa, then likely North Carolina or Minnesota.
An estimated 150 million hot dogs will be consumed on July 4th.
8. A Nation of Turkeys
Benjamin Franklin wrote in a letter to his daughter Sarah Bache in 1784:
“For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country.
He is a Bird of bad moral character. He does not get his Living honestly.
You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk;
And when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.
I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For in Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America.
He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.“
9. How We Should Solve All Disagreements
The famous Nathan’s Fourth of July Hot Dog eating contest apparently started after a disagreement among four immigrants over who was the most patriotic.
10. Less a Fact and More of a Question to Ponder…
While we do refer to it as Independence Day, the more common moniker is Fourth of July. But why do we refer to the date as the name? We don’t refer to Halloween as ‘October 31st’ or say ‘Happy January 1st!’ when the ball drops. So what’s the deal?