It’s the Fourth of July, a time for all Americans to gather and celebrate the independence of our great nation. Most citizens know the basic history behind this much beloved holiday, but the celebration has some fascinating behind the scenes facts behind it.
So this Independence Day, when you’re gathering under the stars for an awe inspiring show of fireworks, wow the kids and your friends with these ten little known facts about the Fourth of July and our great nation!
We might actually be celebrating on the wrong day!
According to a letter written by founding father John Adams to his wife Abigail, it was actually July 2nd that was supposed to go down in history. Congress actually ruled in favor of independence on July 2nd, but it wasn’t until two days later that Congress accepted Jefferson’s declaration. Some historians believe that July 2nd should be our actual Independence Day!
It took almost 100 years before Independence Day was an official holiday!
The first ever celebration of the Fourth of July began back in 1777 in Philadelphia with a huge parade, fireworks, and a thirteen-shot cannon salute, but it wasn’t an actual official holiday until much, much later. It took Congress all the way until 1870 to make the Fourth of July official as part of a bill to recognize other major state holidays like Christmas and New Year’s Day at the federal level.
Phrasing is everything!
Perhaps one of the most recognizable lines in the Declaration of Independence almost never was. It is said that Thomas Jefferson reworded the document at the last minute, changing “the pursuit of property” to the well known “the pursuit of happiness.”
The signing of the Declaration of Independence took days.
Although in the end 56 men from thirteen different colonies signed the Declaration of Independence, only two men signed on the actual July 4th, 1776. That honor went to John Hancock and Charles Thompson.
And it was a multi-generational affair!
The average age of those who signed the Declaration of Independence was 45, but the age of the signees varies greatly, crossing generations. The oldest delegate was Benjamin Franklin at 70 years old, and the very youngest was Thomas Lynch, Jr at age 27.
The Fourth of July is a day of celebration, but is also a day of mourning.
Besides being the day of our independence, the Fourth of July is also a day to remember three of our great presidents. John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe all passed away on July 4th.
But it is also a day of birth!
While you’re saying happy birthday to our great nation, be sure to also wish Calvin Coollidge a great one, since he was born on July 4, 1872!
The “Star Spangled Banner” was originally a poem!
This Fourth of July, Americans will sing the “Star Spangled Banner” with pride, but it wasn’t always a song. It began as a poem written by Francis Scott Key in 1814 and was later set to music. It did not become our national anthem until much later in 1931.
The Fourth of July could also be called the Hot Dog Holiday!
Did you know that Americans eat over 7 billion hotdogs over the summer between Memorial Day to Labor Day? A huge number of those hotdogs are actually consumed on the Fourth of July. According to the National Sausage and Hot Dog Council, Americans are expected to eat over 150 million hotdogs on the Fourth of July alone! That’s a lot of hotdogs!
But the Fourth of July didn’t always mean BBQ…
It almost goes without saying that Americans eat BBQ to celebrate Independence Day, but grilled goods weren’t always the go-to celebration dinner of choice. According to legend, John Adams and his wife Abigail celebrated Independence Day on July 4, 1776 with a meal of turtle soup, green peas, boiled new potatoes, and New England poached salmon. Although you might never have heard of turtle soup these days, it was actually a summertime specialty quite popular for the time!
If you’re looking for something more exciting than one of 150 million hotdogs, and turtle soup doesn’t sound like food to celebrate with, stop in to Flancer’s, where we are serving up celebration Fourth of July-style with Flancer’s favorites. Bring the family and friends and celebrate Independence day with our fresh, delicious menu. But be sure and stop by early, as we will be closing at 4pm so our staff can celebrate.