For many people, Independence Day is an excuse to relax in the sun, have a few drinks, and watch the fireworks with their family and friends, but the history of this day is much richer and more interesting than one might beleive. We have top 10 interesting facts about American Independence Day so you can be reminded of why we celebrate on July 4th.
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Top interesting facts about American Independence Day
Before you start celebrating the 4th of July holiday with fireworks and hot dogs or watch some Independence movies, take a few minutes to check out these interesting facts about American Independence Day you probably never knew.
The US did not actually declare independence on July 4th
One of the biggest misconceptions of July 4 lies in the name and date. Many people mistakenly believe that America declared its independence from Britain on July 4, 1776. However, the official vote did indeed take place two days earlier and the “Declaration” was published in the newspapers on the 4th of July.
The designer of the 50-star flag lives in Lancaster, Ohio
In 1958, a history teacher tasked the class with redesigning the flag when both Alaska and Hawaii were about to become states.
Robert G. Heft, who was 16 years old at the time, designed a new flag using the old 48-star flag and $2.87 blue cloth and white iron material. His design only received a minus B, and he then challenged it by sending it to Washington DC to be reviewed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
According to his obituary, Robert G. Heft was one of the thousands of people who submitted the flag design but he was the only one who actually put a flag together and shipped it to DC.
When the flag was chosen, his score was changed to A and his design became the official flag in 1960.
Americans will enjoy 150 million sausages on the 4th of July
The favorite food on the 4th of July is Hot Dog. Americans are expected to eat 150 million sausages on this day. This is part of an estimated 7 billion that is expected to be used during the summer from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Independence Day was not a paid federal holiday until 1938
The 4th of July is Independence Day in the US and is the most patriotic day of the year. But it was not until 1938 that Independence Day was declared a national paid holiday.
With white, blue and red blowing in the wind, Americans celebrate in their backyars and put together exciting nighttime fireworks across the country.
It’s quite similar to the July 1st celebration of Canada. Our patriotic celebration. Independence Day celebrations in America take place three days earlier than our neighbours to the South. And there’s a truth for you – Canada and the United States both celebrate long weekends together in July.
Statue of Liberty
You probably know that the Statue of Liberty is the symbol of freedom in the United States. The torch on the statue’s right hand represents the light that leads to freedom, equality, and fraternity. The official name is “Liberty Enlightening the World.”
It was designed by French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi on the centenary of the Declaration of Independence.
The tablet she is holding was engraved with the date of July 4, 1776.
There’s something written on the back of the Declaration of Independence
Ok, I know what you’re thinking but no, it’s not a treasure map written in invisible ink.
According to the History Channel, this is simply a message written backwards on the end of the text, which is: “Original Declaration of Independence dated 4th July 1776.”
According to the same article, no one knows exactly who wrote this or when, but it is thought to have been added as a label during the Revolutionary War years when parchment was regularly rolled up to transport.
Fun and Weird Facts About American Independence Day
- Both former presidents of the United States: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both signed the Declaration of Independence and both died on the same day – July 4th.
- Every year Americans burn about 200 million pounds of fireworks! And most are imported not from the US but from China – worth $247,100,000 worth.
- 65% of Americans own an American flag. And you guessed it, again, most of them are made in China.
- Benjamin Franklin wanted Turkey as the national bird. He said that the bald eagle is a bird of bad moral character, and the turkey is a better bird.
- The first week of July is usually the busiest travel week of the year in the US.
- Every July 4, the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is tapped (not actually rung) thirteen times in honor of the original thirteen colonies.
- The stars on the original US flag were in a circle so that all the Colonies appeared equal.
- The Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 men from 13 colonies.
- Former President Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence.
- There are 33 places in the US that have the word “liberty” in their names. According to the US Census, four of them are counties – Texas, Montana, Georgia and Georgia have Liberty County.
- Calvin Coolidge is the only president born on July 4. Maybe this helped his presidential campaign, right?
- The average age of the signers was 45. The youngest signers were Thomas Lynch Jr. and Edward Rutledge, were 27 years old in South Carolina. The oldest delegate was Benjamin Franklin (70 years old) of Pennsylvania.
- The White House held its first Fourth of July party in 1801.
- Independence Day has the highest beer sales of all US federal holidays.
Do you have any interesting facts about American Independence Day? What is the biggest celebration in your country? How do you celebrate Independence Day?