Fourth of July is a day that Americans typically spend with family and friends and is traditionally celebrated with barbeques, baseball games, and firework displays. Most of us recognize the historical significance behind Independence Day, which commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence signifying our independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1776. However, there are quite a few more discussion-worthy fun facts about the holiday that are lesser known.
Independence Day Fun Facts
The legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776 but revisions to the declaration statement (Declaration of Independence) weren’t finalized until July 4th, two days later.
The Declaration of Independence was drafted by Thomas Jefferson and was signed by 56 men representing 13 colonies.
John Hancock was the only person to actually sign the Declaration on July 4, 1776. Everyone else signed later (some as late as 1786).
Three US Presidents have died on Independence Day; John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe. Adams and Jefferson (who both signed the Declaration of Independence), died within hours of each other on July 4, 1826.
Benjamin Franklin originally wanted the turkey as the national bird but was overruled by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who both wanted the bald eagle.
In 1777, fireworks were officially approved by Congress to celebrate Independence Day.
Americans began observing the Fourth of July as early as 1777, but it wasn’t until 1870 (almost 100 years later), that the 4th of July was considered a national holiday.
In 1938, 4th of July was officially declared a paid holiday (Hooray!).
The Liberty Bell has not been rung since 1846. Instead, every year on the 4th of July at 2 pm Eastern, the bell is tapped 13 times in honor of the patriots from the original 13 states.
Approximately 150 million hot dogs and 700 million pounds of chicken are consumed on July 4th.
On July 4, 1776 there were approximately 2.5 million people living in the newly independent nation. On July 4, 2014, the population of the US will be at approximately 318.5 million.
July 4, 2014 will be America’s 238th Independence Day.
On July 4, 1996 this epic speech was given by President Thomas J. Whitmore at Area 51 in Nevada
(Ok, so maybe this didn’t really happen, but we like to pretend that it did! )
Famous 4th of July Birthdays!
Famous people who share their birthday with the Unites States of America include:
Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the US; Rube Goldberg, Pulitzer Prize Winning Cartoonist; Gloria Stuart, Actress; Eva Marie Saint, Actress ; Al Davis, Oakland Raiders owner; George Steinbrenner, NY Yankees owner ; Neil Simon, Playwright; Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren (Dear Abby), Advice columnists; Bill Withers, Singer; Geraldo Rivera, TV personality; and Malia Obama, current first daughter of the United States.
Sources: Huffington Post, Wikipedia, CNN, US Census, HistoryOrb
Happy Birthday, America - from Allied American University!
Before our staff here at AAU enjoys the day off along with the rest of the country, we’d like to share some of our thoughts on Independence Day and what the holiday means to us.
“My parents came to the United States from Honduras, so as a first-generation American, I have a special appreciation for Independence Day. It makes me grateful to think about the sacrifices made by generations of men and women that have allowed us to be free!” –Galel Fajardo, Director of Marketing
“The 4th of July makes me think of family, food and overall fun. It’s about slowing down for a day and just focusing on the here and now – laughing with family, eating good food and being grateful that we have the freedom to just be”.
–Heather Brunson, Marketing Manager
Independence Day means…
Family, Watermelon and Fireworks
Cattle and Farmers in pickup trucks
Parades filled with princesses, scouts and batons
Plastic chairs filling up neighborhood lawns
Waving our flag… red, white and blue
Seeing our heroes march by and salute
Teaching our children to have pride in our land
It can’t be denied, the United States is grand
–Darleen Gold, Military Outreach Administrative Assistant/Travel Coordinator
“Our independence day means so much more to me than barbeque and fireworks—not that those are not good 4th of July activities. Let me explain…I come from a country where you have no freedom of speech; where human rights are trampled on; and where the wonderful booming sounds of fireworks is replaced with the shocking sounds of grenades and shell fire. I have experienced this first hand as a child of a war torn country. My very own cousin was abducted from high school because he expressed his opinion of the government. We never saw him come home. And as a woman from Afghanistan, I am especially grateful to this country and the freedoms I am afforded. I feel safe, secure, and blessed with opportunity to have a happy and successful life. “–Raz Ghafoori, Admissions Rep
“Independence Day means celebrating freedom, unity, and AMERICA!!!” –Krista Karpan, Registration Representative
“Fourth of July is by far my all-time favorite holiday. I love hanging out with my family and friends outside in the sun at either a pool party or at the beach, eating bar-b-q and watching a fantastic fireworks show at the end of the day. I feel very fortunate to call myself an American and the 4th of July is the day I get to sit back and appreciate all the opportunity and freedoms we have in this country.”
–Lindsay Oglesby, Chief Enrollment Management Officer
“Independence Day means spending time with friends and family members and ending the day with fireworks!” –Cynthia Cervantes, Registration Representative