July 4th: Fireworks, Flags, and Fun Facts

July 4th
Fireworks, hot dogs, and waving the American flag. It looks like the 4th of July is just about to be upon us! This fun holiday has evolved a lot throughout the centuries (as has our country). Here are 6 fun facts about Independence Day:
  • Although the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, it wasn’t until 1870 that Congress first declared July 4th to be a national holiday. Before that, people hardly celebrated or thought about it. In 1938, Congress reaffirmed the holiday, which promised workers full pay.
  • The Declaration wasn’t actually signed on July 4th. Most of the delegates signed on August 2nd. There were several reasons for this, including transcribing the document onto parchment with clear handwriting. This process alone took two weeks!
  • Three U.S. presidents have died on July 4th, making this day rather bittersweet. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died in 1826, within hours of each other. The third was James Monroe who died several years later in 1831.
  • The day is also a birthday for one of our presidents; Calvin Coolidge was born on July 4th in 1972.
  • Back in 1776, there were about 5 million people living in the United States. As of 2011, there were more than 311.8 million.
  • Other countries celebrate their independence too! Although they celebrate on different days, dozens of countries have gained autonomy from larger powers that once owned them. Haiti, Greece, India, and Armenia are a few of them.
Were any of these facts a surprise to you? We hope that you have a happy and safe 4th of July! Feature Image: http://brenai.com/