15 Facts You May Not Know about the Fourth of July
On July 4, 1776, the United States of America became an independent nation. Even though every American recognizes Independence Day, many sadly don't know some basic facts about this significant holiday. Polls have revealed that 25% of Americans couldn't identify the country from which we declared independence. Learn more about this patriotic day with these 15 fun facts you may not know about our nation’s birthday!
1. July 4 wasn’t declared an official federal holiday until 1870., and it wasn’t an official paid federal holiday until 1938.
2. Americans consume more than 150 million hot dogs and 700 pounds of chicken on the 4th of July.
3. Only John Hancock and Charles Thompson signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4. The rest of the Founding Fathers signed it on August 2, 1776, at the Second Continental Congress.
4. The youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence was only 27 and the oldest was Benjamin Franklin at 70 years of age.
5. Thomas Jefferson was 33 years old when he drafted the original version.
6. Thomas Jefferson’s original draft was lost.
7. There were only 2.5 million Americans in 1776. Today, the U.S. population is approximately 330 million.
8. John Adams believed that July 2 would be the day Americans celebrated their independence from Britain because that was the day Congress voted to sever ties with England. July 4 is the day the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence.
9. Barbeques and outdoor activities have become a staple of 4th of July celebrations. In the 19th century, political leaders hosted large rallies to listen to opinions of the public and campaign.
10. Benjamin Franklin originally suggested the turkey should be the national bird; however, he was overruled by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson who recommended the bald eagle.
11. The first 4th of July celebrations in Boston and Philadelphia didn’t take place until 1777, one year after the Declaration of Independence was adopted.
12. The first published copy of the Declaration of Independence was known as the Dunlap Broadside, which was printed on the night of July 4, 1776. Of the 150-200 original copies, only 27 are known to exist today.
13. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died on July 4, 1826, within 5 hours of each other.
14. The Statue of Liberty is America’s symbol of freedom. The torch represents enlightenment that lights the path to liberty and freedom. The official name is “Liberty Enlightening the World.” Designed by French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, the statue was a gift from France just in time for the centennial celebration of the Declaration of Independence. The tablet held by Lady Liberty has the date July 4, 1776, engraved on it.
15. Each year Americans light about 200 million pounds of fireworks. Most of them are imported from China.