Independence Day Fun Facts

Every year the United States celebrates Independence Day on the 4th of July. In fact you’ve probably heard it called The Fourth Of July more than you’ve heard Independence Day. Last year I wrote about The History Of Independence Day. This year I have a list of fun facts to share with you.

Fun Facts About Independence Day

History

  • Independence Day aka The 4th Of July, commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776
  • Declaration of Independence wasn’t signed on the Fourth of July. That’s just the day that it was formally dated, finalized, and adopted by the Continental Congress. The Congress officially voted for independence on July 2. 
  • John Hancock and Charles Thomson signed early copies of the Declaration that were given to military officers and political committees. The rest of the 54 men signed an official copy on August 2, with others following at a later date. Hancock (boldly) signed his name again on the updated version.
  • John Adams believed that July 2nd was the correct date on which to celebrate the birth of American independence. He would turn down invitations to appear at July 4th events in protest.
National Bird
  • Benjamin Franklin proposed the turkey as the national bird. But he was overruled (thank goodness for that!) by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who recommended the bald eagle.
  • Three former presidents have passed away on Independence Day; John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe.
  • John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the same day, within hours of each other, on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration Of Independence. 
  • While three former presidents have died on Independence Day, the country’s 30th Commander-in-Chief, Calvin Coolidge, was born on July 4, 1872.

Celebrations

The Liberty Bell
  • Every 4th of July the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is tapped (not actually rung) thirteen times in honor of the original thirteen colonies.
  • The First celebration was held in Philadelphia on July 4th 1777. It included a crude fireworks display, shared food, and the shooting off of guns and cannons.
  • This was also the first time the Declaration Of Independence was read in public.
  • Thomas Jefferson held the first White House Independence Day party on July 4th, 1801.

Fireworks

  • Copper-based fireworks are the most commonly purchased fireworks for Independence Day. This is because the copper base burns blue.
  • The chemical and metal components in a firework determine the color.
    • Red – strontium and lithium compounds
    • Orange – calcium compounds
    • Yellow – sodium compounds
    • Green – barium compounds
    • Blue – copper compounds
    • Purple – strontium and copper compounds

Flag

Red White And Blue Tutu
  • The stars on the original flag flown during early Independence Day celebrations were arranged in a circle. The 13 stars in a circle showed how all the colonies were to be considered equal. 
  • The flag’s 13 alternating red and white stripes represent the 13 original colonies. Its 50 white stars on a blue field represent the 50 states. 
  • The colors on the flag represent:
    • Red: valor and bravery
    • White: purity and innocence
    • Blue: vigilance, perseverance, and justice
  • It’s very common for people to wear the colors of the flag to celebrate Independence Day.

Food

Watermelon
  • Barbecue is very popular on Independence Day. Approximately 150 million hot dogs and 700 million pounds of chicken are consumed on this day.
  • In 2020, the National Retail Foundation estimates Americans will spend $6.52 billion on food to celebrate Independence Day.
  • More than 74 million Americans are planning a barbecue for the Fourth.
  • Watermelon will cost the nation $167.5 million

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed this quick list of fun facts. I know I have learned a lot about the history of The United States of America while I researched this blog post. Do you have any fun facts or traditions that I missed? Let me know in the comments below or Contact Me through my contact page.If you want more information about the History of Independence Day check out my blog post A Brief History of Independence Day. You can also read about an interesting turn of fate in my post The Strange Coincidence Of July 4th, 1826. Some of the information in this blog post I found in the book Holiday Hilarity, You can find my review and a purchasing link here if you are interested.

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