Here are some fun and interesting facts about the 4th of July holiday that you might want to share with your family and your loved ones who are at basic training or boot camp today.
As we celebrate with backyard cookouts and fireworks, it is appropriate to reflect on our Founding Fathers and their heroism and to be thankful for our loved ones who are currently serving in our military or who are at basic training or boot camp.
1. Why do we celebrate July 4th as a holiday? On this day in 1776, the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence, setting up the original 13 colonies.
2. What is 2.5 million? The estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation in July 1776.
3. What is 318.6 million? The current estimated number of people living in the USA.
4. What is 56? The number of signers to the Declaration of Independence.
5. Who was the first signer of the Declaration of Independence? John Hancock, President of the Second Continental Congress, was the first signer. This merchant by trade did so in an entirely blank space making it the largest and most famous signature — hence the term John Hancock, which is still used today as a synonym for signature.
6. Who were the oldest and youngest signers? Benjamin Franklin (age 70), who represented Pennsylvania, was the oldest of the signers. Edward Rutledge (age 26), of South Carolina, was the youngest.
7. Two future presidents signed the Declaration of Independence, John Adams (second President) and Thomas Jefferson (third President). Both died on the 50th anniversary of signing the Declaration (July 4, 1826) within hours of each other. President James Monroe also died on July 4, 1831.
8. One of the United States’ patriotic songs, “Yankee Doodle” was originally sung by British military officers prior to the Revolution as a means to mock the disorganized American colonists who fought alongside them during the French and Indian Wars.
9. Americans consume about 155 million hot dogs on Independence Day alone; it is the biggest hot dog holiday of the year.
10. The oldest, continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States is the 4th of July Parade in Bristol, Rhode Island; it began in 1785.
11. The Fourth of July was not declared a national holiday until 1941.
12. Both the Philippines and Rwanda celebrate July 4th as a day of liberation. In Southeast Asia, it is known as “Republic Day” and Rwandans celebrate “Liberation Day.”
13. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson are responsible for the bald eagle as the national bird; Benjamin Franklin wanted it to be the turkey.