BBQs, fireworks, friends and family; the 4th of July truly is an American classic. While we all know this is the date America celebrates its independence, there may be a few fun tidbits about our country’s birthday that you might not know.
Here are 10 interesting facts about the 4th of July that you can share around the grill.
1. John Adams wanted to celebrate Independence Day on July 2nd, the day Congress voted for independence. Instead, July 4th was chosen, as this was the date that actual the Declaration of Independence was approved. For some reason, the 2nd of July just doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.
2. After the Declaration of Independence was adopted by congress, nearly a month would go by before the actual signing of the document took place. Most historians believe that the signing primarily took place on August 2, 1776. Better late than never, we suppose.
3. The oldest, continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States is the 4th of July Parade in Bristol, Rhode Island. It began way back in 1785.
4. Three US Presidents have died on July 4th – John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe. Ironically, Adams and Jefferson, two signers of the Declaration, died the same year. One US President, Calvin Coolidge, was born on July 4th.
5. Independence Day wasn’t made an official federal holiday until 1870, almost 100 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed. In 1938, it was changed to a paid federal holiday. You’ve got to love a day off from work.
6. The United States is not the only country to celebrate their independence on July 4th. Known as Republic Day, the Philippines gained their independence from the US on July 4th, 1946.
7. The 4th of July is observed in some other countries as well. Since 1912, thousands of Danes have come to Rebild in northern Denmark to celebrate the 4th of July in what may be the largest celebration of America’s independence abroad. Care to wash down that hot dog with some schnapps?
8. Speaking of hot dogs, Americans consume around 150 million of the mystery meat tubes on the 4th of July each year. Just don’t ask what they’re made of.
9. Fireworks have been a major part of the 4th of July since the earliest celebrations. According to the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA), 268.4 million pounds of fireworks are used in the US each year, the majority of those on July 4th.
10. Only 2.5 million people were living in the newly created United States of America in July, 1776. Today, the population is an estimated 325.2 million. Oh, if the Founding Fathers could see us now.
Know any other interesting bits of 4th of July trivia? Let us know in the comment section below.
Mark Heald is an Associate Product Manager and Sporcle Admin. He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, and bemoaning the fact the Sonics left Seattle.