Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday Dear America!
Fourth of July , America’s Birthday marks the day that in 1776, the members of the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia in order to adopt the final draft of the Declaration of Independence which proclaimed our freedom from the British crown. Each year, the fireworks light up the sky, the hotdogs are grilled, the flags are waved and we all join together to celebrate and show our gratitude for the freedoms and opportunities that this great country has to offer. Join us as we reveal 10 facts about the 4th of July:
- While the “Declaration” was published in the newspapers on July 4th the vote had actually taken place two days before the 4th on July 2nd.
- High school student Robert G. Heft of Lancaster, Ohio was assigned to create a new “national banner” for America as a school project. He created the current American flag by adding two stars and stitching out his design. His teacher gave him a B-. Unhappy with his grade he sent his design to President Dwight D. Eisenhower for consideration and a possible change of grade. Eisenhower chose his design personally and the new flag was officially adopted in 1960.
- The first recorded celebration of July 4th took place in as early as 1777 Philadelphia and included a parade, a thirteen-shot cannon salute and fireworks. However, Congress didn’t make it official until 1870 as part of a bill which was passed to recognize major state holidays at a federal level.
- According to TIME magazine, July Fourth is the biggest hot dog holiday of the year.
- Legend has it that turtle soup was on the 1776 July 4th menu for John and Abigail Adams. The menu consisted of poached salmon with egg sauce, green peas and boiled new potatoes in jackets.
- In order to preserve the Liberty Bell it has not been rung since 1846. To mark the Fourth of July, the 2,000-pound bell is instead tapped 13 times to signal for bells across the country to start ringing.
- On July 4th 1826 Jefferson and Adams died hours apart. This was fifty years to the day after the July fourth we all celebrate. A few years later, James Monroe died, also on July 4th in 1831. He was the last man to serve as President who was also a Founding Father.
- HR Block conducted a study that revealed Americans spent over $600 Million on fireworks in 2012 alone.
- The American national anthem, The “Star Spangled Banner” was written by Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812. It did not become the official national anthem of the United States until 1931.
- What city celebrates America’s birthday the best? According to the travel channel, “America’s biggest birthday party” takes place under the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. It kicks off with a 4-mile and 1-mile run, followed by a parade, air shows, concerts and, of course, fireworks.