With 243 YEARS of tradition behind it, the Fourth of July is one of America’s most cherished holidays. It’s when we celebrate our nation with a day off, a backyard barbecue, and plenty of fireworks!
But with all that history, you’d be forgiven if you didn’t know quite everything about July 4. So from the true story behind the signing of the Declaration of Independence, to some staggering little known facts, here are a few things you might not know about the Fourth of July.
The Declaration of Independence really isn’t the Fourth of July
With all of that said, we celebrate American Independence Day on the Fourth of July every year. We think of July 4, 1776, as a day that represents the Declaration of Independence and the birth of the United States of America as an independent nation.
But July 4, 1776 wasn’t the day that the Continental Congress decided to declared independence (they did that on July 2, 1776).
It wasn’t the day we started the American Revolution either (that had happened back in April 1775).
And it wasn’t the day Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft of the Declaration of Independence (that was in June 1776). Or the date on which the Declaration was delivered to Great Britain (that didn’t happen until November 1776). Or the date it was signed (that was August 2, 1776).
It also wasn’t the day that the US constitution became the ruling law of the land (that was March 4, 1789).
Fun Fact: Who Signed the Declaration of Independence?
There were 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence and among them a committee of 5 who drafted the declaration. (Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert R Livingston, and Thomas Jefferson).
The youngest signer, at age 26, was Edward Rutledge of South Carolina. The oldest signer, at age 70, was Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania.
It is said that John Hancock (the first signer) signed his name “with a great flourish” so England’s King George can read that without spectacles!
Three President’s Have Died, and One Was Born, on the Fourth of July.
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on July 4, 1826-50 years to the day after the Declaration of Independence was adopted. Similarly, James Monroe-the nation’s fifth president-died just a few years later on July 4, 1831.
There was one future leader born on Independence Day. The country’s 30th Commander-in Chief, Calvin Coolidge, was born on July 4, 1872.
Billions Will Be Spent On Food and Americans Will Eat an Obscene Amount of Hot Dogs!
Around 150 million, to be more specific-that’s how many hot dogs will be consumed on Fourth of July. According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, that amount of dogs can stretch from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles more than five times.
As a result, Americans will spend around $6.7 billion on food and drink, averaging out to about $ 73 per person participating in a barbecue, outdoor cookout or picnic. According to the Beer Institute, “more beer is sold on and around the Fourth of July holiday than during any other time throughout the year.”
It is said George Washington issued double rations of rum to all his soldiers to mark the anniversary of independence in 1778, and in 1781, several months before the key American victory at Yorktown.
Most noteworthy, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association, around 15,000 fireworks displays will take place for the holiday amounting to about $ 368.6 million worth of fireworks.
Most small towns spend anywhere from $ 8,000 to $ 15,000 for a fireworks display, with larger cities going into the millions, (Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular averages more than $ 2 million).
Many More Residents in the US Than When We Declared Our Independence.
In July 1776, an estimated 2.5 million people lived in the 13 colonies. According to recent projections, there are 330 million residents as of July 1, 2019.
May All Those Who Live In Our Great Country Be Forever Grateful
May all those who live in our great country acknowledge the brilliance of our founding fathers and the sacrifices made throughout history.
May all who live here be forever grateful to the many men and women who sacrifice each and every day to protect our rights and privileges and to all those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
May we each do our part to love each other and love the United States of America!
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