9 Interesting things to know about July 4th

The Fourth of July marks the memorial of America’s Independence, and while many celebrate this day with fireworks, small gatherings and extravagant parties, here are a few facts about this historical date.

July 4th

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  1. The declaration of Independence was actually on July 2.

The year 1776 was etched in history as the declaration of independence and while Americans and Americans at heart celebrate Independence Day on the 4th of July, the Second Continental Congress did not approve the Virginian delegate’s motion for independence on that day. It was actually July 2, 1776 when Richard Henry Lee’s motion was approved, two days prior. On July 4, however, the Declaration was approved after revisions and discussions, but the founding fathers nonetheless intended for Independence Day to be celebrated on July 2, since a formal statement of the declaration was announced on that day.

John Adams, one of the founding fathers, predicted in a letter that:

“The Second Day of July 1776 will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with [Shows], Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

  1. The fourth of July was not an official holiday until 1830.

Although it was observed subsequent to the signing of the Declaration, it was not an official U.S. holiday until a bill was passed in 1870. Following this, it became a paid legal holiday in 1938, and July 4th was recognized with other holidays like Christmas.

  1. Not all of the delegates of the Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence on the 4th of July.

While Benjamin Franklin and John Adams and other founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, other signatories were absent until later. The New York delegates did not sign in support of the Declaration until July 9th.

On August 2, 1776, most delegates of the Continental Congress however, signed the Declaration, according to the National Archives (See reference www.archives.gov) and the official document was not written until the 19th of July, 1776.

  1. There is more than one copy of the Declaration.

Although the official document is on exhibition in the Washington DC National Archives, the Declaration of Independence was printed in hundreds and dispatched to colonies to read to those who were unable to read. However, only twenty-six are still intact to this day of the hundreds which were printed.

  1. Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and James Monroe all died on July 4th

On July 4th, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and James Monroe passed away fifty years after the Declaration, according to National Archives. Jefferson and Adams both died on the same day of the same year, July 4th 1826, and Monroe died in 1831, five years later.

  1. The American Anthem was derived from an English club song.

To Anacreon in Heaven was the constitutional song of the Anacreontic Society, an official London club founded for musicians, incidentally, the America national anthem originated from.

  1. The fireworks and American flag are made in China.

Millions of dollars were spent by Americans to import the American flags in 2014 from China (approximately 3.6 million). The U.S. Census Bureau reported that fireworks were also imported from China amounting to sum of approximately 247.1 million USD in the same year for 4th of July festivities.

  1. Residents of America eat the most hot dogs every 4th of July.

The biggest holiday celebrations happen on the 4th of July, and while many watch the fireworks shows across the country, many consume hot dogs in the hundreds. Americans purchase more than 700 million pounds of chicken during the period leading to the festivities on the 4th of July. Not only is the day a hot dog frenzy, but also a major beer holiday, where Americans drink up to 53 million cases of beer.

  1. The American flag was designed by a high school student.

A high school student of Lancaster, Ohio by the name of Robert G. Heft had a class assignment to create a “national banner” for America and simply added two extra stars to the flag to give it an even 50 stars to represent the states of Hawaii and Alaska. Given an undeserving grade, he submitted his piece to the President at the time, Dwight D. Eisenhower for consideration and the result was a new American flag revision. The new flag was officially adopted in 1960.

By Alexandra Daley

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