4TH of July

You may wonder, “Why do we celebrate the 4th of July? What does it mean?” Well, this day is incredibly significant in American history, as it marks the day the United States officially became its own nation. The Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4th, 1776—and thus, America was born. American citizens celebrate America’s birthday with festivals, parades, fireworks, barbecues, sparklers, and other festive activities.

4th of July Facts 

1. The Declaration of Independence was not signed on July 4, 1776. That’s actually the day it was formally adopted by the Continental Congress, but it wasn’t signed by most signatories until August. 

2. American typically eat 150 million hot dogs on Independence Day, “enough to stretch from D.C. to L.A. more than five times,” according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.

3. Three presidents have died on July 4: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Monroe.

Related: History Facts

4. John Adams believed that American independence should be celebrated on July 2, as that’s the actual day the Continental Congress voted for independence in 1776. 

5. Annoyed that Independence Day wasn’t celebrated on July 2, Adams reportedly turned down invitations to July 4 celebrations throughout his life.

6. Massachusetts became the first state to make the 4th of July an official state holiday in 1781. 

7. President Zachary Taylor died in 1850 after eating spoiled fruit at a July 4 celebration.

8. The famed Macy’s fireworks show in New York City uses more than 75,000 fireworks shells and costs about $6 million. 

9. Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest is held annually on July 4. In 2018, champion Joey Chestnut ate 74 hot dogs with buns in just 10 minutes.

10. Independence Day became a federal holiday in 1870. 

11. As of 2016, July 4 was the number one holiday for beer sales in the U.S., according to the National Beer Wholesalers Association

12. In 1778, George Washington gave his soldiers a double ration of rum to celebrate the July 4 holiday. 

13. Every July 4, descendants of the signers of the Declaration of Independence tap the Liberty Bell 13 times in honor of the original 13 colonies.

14. Eating salmon is a July 4 tradition in parts of New England. 

15. Small towns in the U.S. typically spend between $8,000 and $15,000 on their fireworks displays. 

16. President Calvin Coolidge was born on July 4, 1872. 

17. About 16,000 July 4 fireworks displays happen around the country each year, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association

18. With many fireworks shows canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, the American Pyrotechnics Association is asking for financial help from Congress to keep family-run fireworks businesses afloat. 

19. Starting in 1818, new stars and stripes were added to the American flag each July 4 to make the creation of new states. 

20. The U.S. Flag Code offers guidelines for flying the flag on July 4, and every day. 

22. The first July 4 celebration took place at the White House on 1801, hosted by Thomas Jefferson. 

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