Happy Birthday, America!
Picnics, parades, family, and fireworks – these are just some of the staples of the 4th of July. But without America’s Founding Fathers there wouldn’t be an Independence Day to celebrate.
While most Americans know that the United States’ birthday is celebrated on July 4th, did you know only that only two people actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th? Most of the signers signed on August 2, 1776.
For more fun facts about America’s Independence Day, keep reading:
~ July 2nd is the real day of Independence, but it is celebrated on the fourth because that’s when Congress accepted Jefferson’s declaration. The Declaration of Independence was actually a letter to King George that had been written on July 2nd by Thomas Jefferson. It was meant to justify a revolt against the British, and included a list of charges against the British king.
~ Fireworks were first used to celebrate July 4th in 1777. Congress chose to mark Independence Day in Philadelphia by adjourning Congress and celebrating with bonfires, bells, and fireworks.
~ The oldest continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States is the 4th of July Parade in Bristol, Rhode Island; it began in 1785.
~ The White House held its first 4th of July party in 1801.
~ The “Star Spangled Banner” was written by Francis Scott Key and was originally a poem inspired by the sight of the American flag flying over Baltimore’s Fort McHenry in 1814 following the British attack on Baltimore’s Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. It was later put to music, though not decreed the offi
cial national anthem until 1931.
~ Congress established Independence Day as a holiday in 1870, and in 1938 Congress reaffirmed it as a paid holiday for federal employees.
~ An estimated 150 million hot dogs will be consumed on July 4th. Since 1916, the Nathan’s Fourth of July Hot Dog Contest in Coney Island has become an annual tradition. Legend has it that four immigrants got into an argument over who was most patriotic. To prove themselves, they ate as many hot dogs as they could handle.
~ Since 1916, “A Capitol Fourth” has been on the West Lawn of the US Capitol in Washington, D.C. A free concert and fireworks show attracts over half a million people annually and is broadcast to troops on the American Forces Network.
~ The Philippines gained independence from the United States on July Fourth in 1946.
~ On July 4, 1983, New York Yankees pitcher Dave Righetti threw a 4-0 no-hitter against the Boston Red Sox. It was the first no-hitter in 27 years.
We hope you enjoy your Independence Day not matter how you choose to spend it! Happy 4th of July from our family to yours.