The Fourth of July is almost here, meaning it’s time to break out the grill, stock up on fireworks, and plan out the festivities. To help you get into the spirit of the holiday (and impress/irritate your friends and loved ones at your Independence Day cookout), we’ve put together a few Fourth of July fun facts.
1. A Small but Important Word Swap
Did you know that the original draft of the Declaration of Independence would protect our right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of property?” Thomas Jefferson can be credited with its change to “pursuit of happiness.” Has a better ring to it, does it not?
2. The Declaration of Independence Was Drafted on July 2nd
In fact, John Adams was pretty certain that this was the day that would go down as the most significant one in U.S. history. The document, which outlines why the Founding Fathers believed that the colonies were justified in declaring their independence from England, was drafted on the 2nd and approved on the 4th.
3. Only Two People Signed The Declaration of Independence on July 4th
Just two signers, John Hancock, who was the president of Congress, and Charles Thompson, who was its secretary, actually signed the original document on the 4th of July. The document that can be seen in the National Archives Museum today is an engrossed copy that was signed by most of the remaining 54 on August 2nd. Sadly, the original has been MIA for a long time.
4. The Official Federal Holiday Was a Long Time In Coming
The first actual celebration happened on July 8th, 1776, just a few days following the approval of the final draft. At this time, the document was first read in public after people were called to gather by the ringing of the Liberty Bell. The first White House Fourth of July party didn’t take place until 1801, and the date wasn’t declared an official holiday until 1870, nearly a hundred years after the Declaration of Independence had been signed.
5. Three Founding Fathers Died On July 4th
Of the seven key Founding Fathers, three of them died on July 4th. James Monroe, our fifth president, passed on the 4th in 1831. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died within hours of one another on July 4th, 1826, which was the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. You don’t have to be a statistician to find that peculiar!
6. Now, We Eat Hot Dogs
And do we ever! It’s estimated that every July 4th, somewhere in the ballpark of 150 million hot dogs are consumed. That’s nothing compared to how much chicken we eat though, which is about 700 million pounds. Bon appetit!
7. …And Watch Fireworks
Every year on the 4th of July (who are we kidding; the weeks leading up to the 4th), fireworks become a pretty big deal. In fact, we import somewhere around $227.3 million worth of fireworks from China.
From everyone here at Soundwave Art, we wish you and your loved ones a happy, safe, and fun Independence Day!