While this year’s July 4th celebrations may look a little different than in past years, one thing is for sure: we are still going to be cooking out and watching fireworks, one way or the other.
As you’re putting mustard on your fourth hot dog, (out of the estimated 150 million consumed on this day) consider these 15 July 4th tidbits to share with your family and friends.
1. Two of the signers of the Declaration of Independence would go on to become president of the very country they formed. These men were John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
2. The very first celebration of Independence Day was on July 8, 1776, in Philadelphia. The citizens of Philadelphia were summoned by the Liberty Bell’s ring, and the Declaration of Independence was read aloud publicly for the first time.
3. Benjamin Franklin chose the turkey as our national bird, but he was quickly outvoted by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson who thought the bald eagle was a better choice. Notice that only two of these three names would become president, and take a moment to consider our lives with a turkey as our national bird; would Thanksgiving turkeys still be legal?
4. Speaking of food, last year it’s estimated that the United States spent $6.8 billion on July 4th food. $804 million went towards beef products with chicken coming in at a distant second place, accounting for $371 million.
5. Americans love their beer on July 4th; Independence Day is the top beer drinking holiday of the year.
6. Fireworks aren’t cheap. It’s estimated that a municipally sponsored fireworks show runs a cool $25k to $100K on this day. As a side note, it’s recommended that municipalities get insurance coverage to the tune of $5 million per display.
7. China is rooted in our celebrations, with 90% of our fireworks coming from that country. China also produces over $5 million dollars in American Flags, importing them to the US.
8. Our national anthem tune is a version of an old English drinking song called “To Anacreon in Heaven,” a praise to wine.
9. The references Liberty, Freedom, Independence, and Eagle are used across the United States in 86 different places. Union tops this list, being used 136 times, 33 in Pennsylvania alone. Jackson, Lincoln, Washington, and Franklin are also highly popular patriotic place names.
10. In an interesting (if slightly morbid) twist of fate, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and President John Adams all died on the fourth. Jefferson and Adams, both signers of the Declaration of Independence, died within a few hours of each other on July 4th, 1826.
11. The White House held its first Independence Day celebration in 1801, but it wasn’t until 1870 that Federal employees were granted an unpaid holiday for the fourth. In 1938, Independence Day was declared a paid federal holiday.
12. Contrary to a popular assumption, the Declaration of Independence was only signed by two people on July 4,1776: Charles Thomson and John Hancock. Many others added their signatures on August 2, but the final signature took five years to be added. There are 56 total signatures on the document.
13. Have you considered that none of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were American? Until independence was declared, America did not exist. Think about that one!
14. The flag was officially adopted in 1777. The stars were in a circle, indicating equality amongst the colonies. Since then, the flag has been changed 27 times to add stars, until the adoption of the one we currently use in 1960.
15. Bristol, Rhode Island is home to the oldest parade tradition in the country. The parade was started in 1785 and continues to this day, making Bristol the home of the oldest July 4th celebration in America.
And your bonus tidbit:
16. Born on the Fourth Of July, National Treasure, Top Gun, 1776, The Patriot, John Adams, Forest Gump, and Independence Day are consistently listed as the Go-To Independence Day movies of all time. Jaws is frequently cited as a July 4th favorite, as is Red Dawn.
Sprinkle these tidbits of knowledge across your July 4th celebration and look like the local town trivia genius, thanks to Integris.
And on behalf of all your friends here at Iconic, we wish you a happy and safe July 4th.