Ten Independence Day Fun Facts
(or just interesting depending on what you consider ‘fun’)
Congress made Independence Day an official unpaid holiday for federal employees in 1870. In 1938, Congress changed Independence Day to a paid federal holiday.
Only John Hancock actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. All the others signed later.
The average age of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence was 45. The youngest was Thomas Lynch, Jr (27) of South Carolina. The oldest delegate was Benjamin Franklin (70) of Pennsylvania. The lead author of The Declaration, Thomas Jefferson, was 33.
The only two signers of the Declaration of Independence who later served as President of the United States were John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
The stars on the original American flag were in a circle so all the Colonies would appear equal.
Fireworks are part of the tradition of celebrating this national holiday. The U.S. imported $227.3 million worth of fireworks from China in 2012. U.S. exports of fireworks, by comparison, came to just $11.7 million in 2012, with Israel purchasing more than any other country ($2.5 million).
Every 4th of July the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is tapped (not actually rung) thirteen times in honor of the original thirteen colonies.
The first Independence Day celebration took place in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776. This was also the day that the Declaration of Independence was first read in public after people were summoned by the ringing of the Liberty Bell.
The White House held its first 4th July party in 1801.
Barbecue is also big on Independence Day. Approximately 150 million hot dogs and 700 million pounds of chicken are consumed on this day.
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Have a fun and safe Independence Day!