Here Are Some Fun 4th of July Facts

Here Are Some Fun 4th of July Facts

Here at Independence Bunting, we hope you had a great 4th of July 2012. While the celebration of our nation’s birthday is over for another year, it’s always a good time to learn more about the history of this great holiday. So here are some fun 4th of July facts.
  • Independence Day was almost set on July 2nd, not the 4th. This was because the vote to separate from Great Britain actually took place on that day. However, the 4th was eventually decided on, since it was the date on the final version of the Declaration of Independence.
  • In a letter to his wife Abigail, in 1776, John Adams wrote that America’s independence “will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival…with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” Given that the United States at that time went no further west than the Appalachian Mountains, his prediction of a continent-wide celebration was nothing short of prophetic.
  • The only two signers of the declaration who later became presidents were John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Both later died on the same day: July 4th, 1826.
  • The only president ever born on the 4th of July was Calvin Coolidge, who was born in 1872.
  • In 1778, General George Washington observed the 4th by treating his men to a double portion of rum. Meanwhile, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, who were in France on a diplomatic mission, celebrated the day with a special dinner in Paris.
  • The holiday wasn’t called Independence Day until 1791.
  • Independence Day became an unpaid federal holiday in 1870. It became a paid day off for government workers in 1938.
  • While today we hold our major festivities on the 4th of July, in times past, it was customary to have them on the evening of July 3rd. Some of the customs from those events were strange by today’s standards. For example, in New England, crowds would build giant pyramids out of a combination of barrels and the heads of pigs. They would set the edifices on fire at sundown. We’re not sure if this falls into fun 4th of July facts, but it’s intriguing nonetheless.
  • It’s customary on US military bases to fire a 50-gun salute every 4th of July, one shot for each state.
  • The biggest Independence Day fireworks show in history was held in New York City on July 4th, 2009 – 22 tons of pyrotechnics were set off during the event.
  • The longest continuously running 4th of July celebration is held every year in Bristol, Rhode Island. It has been going on without fail since 1785.
  • The famous Nathan’s hot dog eating contest, held every 4th of July at Coney Island, started in 1916 as a way to settle a dispute among four immigrants as to which one was the most patriotic.
  • A joint Canadian-American celebration of national freedom is held every year in Detroit, MI and Windsor, Ontario during the last week of June. The event was established in 1959, and commemorates both Independence Day and Canada Day, which is July 1st.
  • The lawn of the Capitol in Washington, DC is home to a giant outdoor musical concert every 4th of July. The event is followed by a spectacular fireworks display.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading these fascinating facts about Independence Day. As the season changes from summer to fall, remember that Independence Bunting can help with your autumn celebrations, including Labor Day, Halloween, homecomings, and harvest festivals. In addition to the regular items we sell, we’ll be happy to create custom flags and banners according to your specifications. Let us know how we can make your special days even more memorable.