Happy Independence Day! Is this a great country or what? It is not perfect and things could definitely be better, but we should be thankful for our liberty and freedom. This Fourth of July let us celebrate and remember to be patriotic year round and never forget how far we’ve come as a nation and always do what we can to make our home a better place. Here’s a quick post with some interesting facts about the Fourth.
Independence Day, also known as the Fourth of July or The Fourth, is a US federal holiday which celebrates our nation’s independence from Great Britain. Although, historically there are varying accounts on when exactly the actual Declaration of Independence was signed, whether on the 2nd or even a month later by many signers, July 4th is the day we celebrate. The principle authors were Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston; Thomas Jefferson being the one credited with penning most of it.
John Hancock was the leader of Congress and the first one to sign the document. He is said to have signed it weeks in advanced in a private chamber with one witness. His signature is the largest and most visible probably due to the available space on the paper at the time of his signing. His signature has famously come to represent all signatures, as in “put your John Hancock here.”
On July 8, 1776, the first Independence Day celebrations were in Philadelphia. The Liberty Bell was rung in order to assemble the public for the first reading of the Declaration of Independence read by Colonel John Nixon.
1804 is the actual year the White House celebrated the first public Independence Day. Congress formally declared July 4 or Independence Day a federal holiday in 1941.
Liberty is derived from the Latin word libertas meaning “free”
In July 1776, the estimated population of our nation was 2.5 million (Historical Statistics of the United States)
Currently the nation’s estimated population is 313.9 million
According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and National Hot Dog & Sausage Council over 155 million hot dogs will be eaten on the Fourth. July is designated as National Hot Dog month. Go figure.
Over 78 million Americans will cook out
According to the US Census Bureau over 90% of American flags purchased in our country are made in China. Yikes!
Another import from China – Fireworks – Over $232 million spent on fireworks expected this year
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the second and third presidents respectively, both died on the same day which was July 4, 1826. This was also the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Adams was 90 years old and Jefferson was 83. Pretty amazing coincidence.
Our fifth president, James Monroe, died on July 4, 1831.
Calvin Coolidge, our 30th president, and Malia Obama, the daughter of Barack Obama, our 44th president, were born on, you guessed it, the 4th of July.
Other famous people born on the Fourth of July
Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of “The Scarlett Letter”
Eric Fleming – actor, Trail Boss Gil Favor “Rawhide”
Ron Kovic – activist and author of the book “Born on the Fourth of July” portrayed by Tom Cruise in the movie
James Bailey – Ringling Bros, Barnum and Bailey Circus
Louis B. Mayer – MGM Studios co-founder
Geraldo Rivera – Journalist
Gina Lollobrigida – actress
Ralph Johnson – drummer for Earth, Wind and Fire
Mike Sorrentino “The Situation” – reality show star “Jersey Shore”
John Waite – singer “Missing You”
Twin sisters Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren (Dear Abby) – advice columnists
Eva Marie Saint – actress “On the Waterfront”
Neil Simon – playwright and screenwriter “The Odd Couple”
George Steinbrenner – owner of the NY Yankees
Macy’s of New York City will be holding and airing the 2013 4th of July Fireworks display making it their 36th year. Millions will gather to be awed by over 40,000 shells that will burst over the Hudson River.
Let me say thank you to my website visitors and clients who make it all worthwhile. Have a fun and safe Fourth!