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22 Surprising 4th of July Facts 2024 – What’s the History & Significance Happy Fourth Of July?

22 Surprising 4th of July Facts 2024 – What’s the History and Significance Happy Fourth Of July? The 4th of July, also known as Independence Day, is a significant holiday in the United States, marking the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. It is a day filled with patriotic displays, fireworks, parades, and celebrations that bring together families and communities to honor the birth of the nation. Beyond the traditional festivities, there are numerous surprising and lesser-known facts about this historic day that reveal its rich history and enduring significance in American culture.

4th of July Facts, History, Significance

22 Surprising 4th of July Facts 2024

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. Americans 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.

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.

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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 VinePair per the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA).

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

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

20. John Hancock has the largest signature on the Declaration of Independence.

21. The first July 4 celebration that took place at the White House was in 1801, hosted by Thomas Jefferson.

22. One World Trade Center in New York is 1,776 feet tall to mark the year the U.S. declared its independence from Britain.

Happy 4th Of July Independence Day 2024

4th Of July History & Significance:

The 4th of July, known as Independence Day, marks the celebration of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The origins of this historic day trace back to the American Revolution, a colonial revolt that began in 1775 and led to the eventual independence of the thirteen American colonies from Great Britain.

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Tensions between the colonies and the British government had been building for years due to issues like taxation without representation, the Stamp Act, and the Boston Massacre. In response, the Continental Congress convened, and by June 1776, a resolution for independence had been proposed. A committee of five was appointed to draft a formal declaration, consisting of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston. The primary author was Thomas Jefferson.

On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and after two days of debate and revision, the Declaration of Independence was officially adopted on July 4, 1776. This document articulated the colonies’ reasons for seeking independence and outlined the principles of individual liberty and government by consent of the governed.

Early Celebrations

The first celebrations of American independence took place shortly after the Declaration’s adoption. On July 8, 1776, the Declaration was publicly read in Philadelphia, accompanied by the ringing of bells and band music. Early celebrations were marked by public readings, parades, bonfires, and the firing of cannons and muskets. These festivities aimed to foster a sense of unity and patriotism among the colonists.

Happy 4th Of July 2024 Images
Happy 4th Of July 2024 Images

Evolution of the Holiday

The 4th of July gradually became an important patriotic holiday. Massachusetts was the first state to recognize the 4th of July as a state holiday in 1781. However, it wasn’t until after the War of 1812, when Americans celebrated their renewed independence from Great Britain, that the 4th of July began to emerge as a significant national holiday.

Throughout the 19th century, celebrations became more elaborate. Fireworks, a tradition borrowed from Chinese pyrotechnics, became a central feature. By the mid-19th century, the day was marked by orations, concerts, parades, and community events. In 1870, Congress made the 4th of July a federal holiday, and in 1938, it became a paid holiday for federal employees.

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Traditions and Symbols

Over the years, the 4th of July has developed a rich tapestry of traditions and symbols. Fireworks displays are perhaps the most iconic, symbolizing the “rockets’ red glare” mentioned in “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the national anthem written during the War of 1812. The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is tapped (not rung, due to its crack) 13 times every Independence Day in honor of the original 13 colonies.

Parades featuring marching bands, floats, and civic organizations are held in cities and towns across the country. Patriotic music, including “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “America the Beautiful,” and “God Bless America,” is played during these events. Barbecues and picnics have also become synonymous with the 4th of July, reflecting the holiday’s emphasis on community and family gatherings.

Historical Significance and Modern Celebrations

The 4th of July holds profound historical significance as the day the United States declared its independence and asserted its commitment to liberty, equality, and democratic governance. It is a day for Americans to reflect on the nation’s founding principles and the ongoing struggle to uphold them.

In modern times, the holiday is celebrated with a blend of historical reverence and contemporary festivities. Major cities like New York and Washington, D.C., host grand fireworks displays, while smaller communities hold local parades and events. The day is also marked by the reading of the Declaration of Independence in various public settings, connecting contemporary celebrations with their historical roots.

Presidential Connections

Several U.S. presidents have notable connections to the 4th of July. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, both signatories of the Declaration of Independence and later presidents, famously died on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration. James Monroe, the fifth president, also died on July 4, in 1831. Conversely, Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president, was born on July 4, 1872.

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