The Fourth of July is a great day of celebration form many reasons. I bet you didn’t know these little known facts about July 4th!

  • Americansfirst started celebrating July 4th around 1777 in Philadelphia butCongress did not make it official until 1870 when a bill was passed torecognize major holidays at a federal level.
  • JohnAdams wrote home to Abigail on July 3rd that July 2nd will go down in historyand be celebrated with parades, bells ringing and fireworks. This was because Congressruled it in favor of independence on July 2 but did not accept Jefferson’sdeclaration until July 4th.
  • OnJuly 4th, “The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen unitedStates of America” was created. The nation called The United States ofAmerica was not formed until the Second Continental Congress ratified theArticles of Confederation and Perpetual Union on March 1, 1781.
  • In1784, Benjamin Franklin wrote to his daughter Sarah Bache that he was upsetthat the bald eagle was chosen as the symbol for our nation. He said, “Heis a bird of bad moral character. He does not get his living honestly.” Hecontinued, “you may have seen him perched on some dead tree near the river,where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the labour of the fishing hawk.”Ben felt that the turkey was a “more respectable” bird.
  • One of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Richard Stockton from New Jersey, was taken prisoner by the British during the Revolutionary War because he was a signer. In order to be released, he had to recant his oath (the only signer ever to recant) and declare his allegiance to King George III. He later re-affirmed his oath of allegiance to the US.
  • CalvinCoolidge, Pam Shriver, Becki Newton and Malia Obama were all born onIndependence Day.
  • Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on July 4,1826. James Monroe is the third president to die on July 4th, 1831.
  • The Liberty Bell has not been rung since 1846 because of the cracks in the bell. Instead, the 2000 pound bell is tapped 13 times every year to mark the 4th of July and provide a signal for bells across the country to also begin ringing.
  • Therehave been 28 versions of the U.S flag to date. The most recent was designed aspart of a school project in 1958 (after Alaska and Hawaii joined the Union) whenRobert Heft was 17 years old. Histeacher gave him a B but later changed his grade to an A when his project wasselected in the national competition to be the next flag.
  • Pennsylvaniais home to 11 locations with “liberty” in their name and 33 additionalplaces with “union” in their name.
  • Timemagazine reports that Americans consume about 155 million hot dogs on July 4th.
  • TheFounding Fathers did not opt for hot dogs. Rather they celebrated the holidaywith turtle soup, poached salmon with egg sauce, boiled new potatoes with peasand Indian pudding.
  • Abargain hunter at a flea market purchased a copy of the Declaration ofIndependence for $4 in 1989. It ended up being one of only 200 official copies(only 24 copies were known to exist). He sold that copy at auction for $8.14million.