You know your American history. You know that Betsy Ross designed the American Flag and that Francis Scott Key penned the Star-Spangled Banner during the British bombing of Ft. McHenry during the War of 1812. Think those are all the facts you will need to know to win a July 4th trivia contest this year? Think again. These 14 facts about the 4th of July may surprise you (and make you the interesting Independence Day parade-goer in your community this year).
Interesting Facts About the Fourth of July
- On the very first 4th of July in 1776, America was home to only 2.5 million citizens. Today, it is home to over 326 million.
- Presidents John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe all died on July Fourth.
- Only John Hancock and Secretary of Congress Charles Thomson signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Others signed the document on August 2.
- Americans consume more hot dogs on the 4th of July than on any other day of the year. Experts estimate that Americans eat 155 million hot dogs on July 4. That’s enough to stretch across the U.S. more than five times.
- July 4 was not established as a federal holiday until 1870, nearly 100 years after the nation’s founding.
- Two signers of the Declaration of Independence would later go on to serve as President of the United States: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. They would both also die on the same day: July 4, 1826, only hours apart from each other.
- The first public reading of the Declaration of Independence took place on July 8, 1776, in Philadelphia, PA, after the ringing of the Liberty Bell.
- Benjamin Franklin proposed that the turkey should be the national bird of the United States. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson overruled him.
- Only one U.S. president, Calvin Coolidge, was born on July 4.
- The Philippines has a reason to celebrate independence on July 4 too. On that day in 1946, they signed the Treaty of Manila, gaining their independence from the United States.
- Other countries, including Denmark, England, Norway, Portugal, and Sweden, also celebrate the Fourth of July, welcoming American tourists into their countries.
- The original draft of the Declaration of Independence went missing and remains lost to history.
- Fifty-nine places in the U.S. include the word “liberty” in their name. The state of Pennsylvania has the most cities, counties, townships, and villages that use the word liberty, at 11.
- To honor the 13 original colonies, every July 4, the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is tapped (not rung) thirteen times.
This July 4, enjoy a hot dog, sip a sparkling cooler, watch some fireworks, and don your best red, white, and blue attire. You have earned the summer off and the right to celebrate everything unique about our exceptional nation.