Happy birthday, USA! This Independence Day, see just how much you and your family really know about the holiday with these fun facts about the 4th of July. Use them to pass the time while waiting for the parade or fireworks, or see who is the most knowledge friend or relative at the cook out!
A bit of a trick question – July 2, 1776. We celebrate on July 4th because that was the date the Continental Congress approved the wording of the Declaration of Independence.
In fact, the framers would be surprised that we celebrate the Fourth of July.
“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,” John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail on July 3, 1776.
* When did most people sign the Declaration of Independence?
August 2, 1776.
* Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?
Thomas Jefferson. John Adams and Ben Franklin edited it.
* When were fireworks first used to celebrate Independence Day?
Fireworks have been a part of the celebration since 1777! Philadelphia was the site of the celebration of the first anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and Congress authorized using fireworks to mark the occasion. The celebration also included included bonfires and bells.
* Speaking of bells, when was the Liberty Bell sounded?
Zero times. It is symbolically tapped 13 time by children who are descendents of signers of the Declaration of Independence.
* Back to the fireworks, how much are Americans expected to spend on fireworks this year?
“[I]f the weather cooperates, consumer fireworks revenues could exceed $675 million for the 2014 fireworks season,” says Julie L. Heckman, Executive Director of the American Pyrotechnics Association. That’s up from $600 million in 2006.
* When did the Fourth of July become a federal holiday?
Congress declared the Fourth of July a federal holiday on June 28, 1870. In 1938, Congress mandated full pay for federal employees.
* Which three Presidents died on July 4th?
John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe. Adam, and Jefferson died on the same day in 1826.
* Which President was born on Independence Day?
Calvin Coolidge was born on July 4, 1872 in Vermont. He’s the only President born on the day, and one of two Presidents born in Vermont. Chester Arthur is the other.
* When did the “Star Spangled Banner” become the nation’s national anthem?
The “Star Spangled Banner” was written by Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812 and not decreed the official national anthem of the United States until 1931.
* The first official national flag was approved by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777. What do the colors of the American flag represent?
Red stands for hardiness and valor. White symbolizes purity and innocence. Blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice.
Hope you have the happiest of Independence Days!
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