The 4th of July is packed v backyard barbecues and also plenty that fireworks. With 245 years of history and legacy behind it, you"d be forgiven if friend didn"t know quite everything about America’s freedom Day. Indigenous the true story behind the signing of the explanation of self-reliance to some staggering warm dog statistics, right here are 10 points you might not know about the fourth of July.

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1. The declaration of freedom wasn"t signed on July 4 (or in July in ~ all).


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John Trumball"s 1819 painting Declaration that Independence.John Trumbull, Wikimedia Commons // windy Domain

It might make because that an iconic painting, however that famous image of all the founding Fathers and Continental congress huddled together, presenting the first draft of the declaration of independence for a July 4, 1776, signing isn"t quite just how things yes, really went down. As well known historian David McCullough wrote, “No together scene, through all the delegates present, ever occurred at Philadelphia.”

It"s currently generally accepted that the explanation of freedom wasn"t signed ~ above the fourth of July—that"s just the job the record was officially dated, finalized, and adopted by the continental Congress, which had officially vote for independence on July 2 (the day man Adams assumed we should celebrate). John Hancock and also Charles Thomson signed beforehand printed duplicates of the Declaration come be offered to armed forces officers and various politics committees, yet the mass of the other 54 men signed an main engrossed (finalized and in larger print) copy on respectable 2, v others adhering to at a later on date. Hancock (boldly) signed his name again on the updated version.

2. The first Fourth the July celebrations weren"t much various from today"s.

After years of pent-up frustration, the swarms let loosened upon hearing the words of the statements of freedom in 1776. Army personnel and civilians in the Bowling eco-friendly section that Manhattan tore under a statue the King George III and also later melted it into bullets ; Philadelphia patriots used the King"s cloak of arms together kindling because that a bonfire; and also in Savannah, Georgia, the citizens scorched the King in effigy and also held a mock funeral for their imperial foe.

Independence work celebrations began to watch a bit more familiar the complying with year, as the July 18, 1777, problem of the Virginia Gazette defines the July 4 celebration in Philadelphia:

“The evening was closed through the ringing that bells, and also at night there to be a grand exhibition of fireworks, which began and concluded through thirteen rockets top top the commons, and also the city to be beautifully illuminated. Every thing was conducted with the greatest order and decorum, and the challenge of joy and also gladness to be universal.”

There were even ships decked the end in patriotic colour lining harbors and streamers littering city streets. Contemporary Independence job celebrations have stuck quite close come the traditions started in 1777.

3. Eat salmon top top the fourth of July is a tradition in new England.


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Forget hot dogs and tuck into some salmon and peas.loustejskal.com, Wikimedia Commons // CC by 2.0

The legacy of eat salmon top top the fourth of July essentially started in new England as a coincidence. Throughout the center of the summer, salmon was numerous in rivers throughout the region, for this reason it to be a usual sight on tables in ~ the time. The dish at some point got lumped into the Fourth and also has stayed that way ever since, also with the decrease of Atlantic salmon.

To serve salmon the traditional brand-new England way, you"ll have to pair it through some environment-friendly peas. And if you"re really striving because that 18th-century authenticity, reap the totality meal v some tortoise soup, prefer John and also Abigail Adams supposedly walk on the first Fourth the July. (You deserve to still it is in a patriot without the soup, though.)

4. Massachusetts was the an initial state to acknowledge the 4th of July.

Massachusetts well-known the fourth of July together an main holiday top top July 3, 1781, making the the very first state to execute so. Congress hadn’t even begun designating federal holidays until June 28, 1870 , through the an initial four being new Year"s Day, independence Day, Thanksgiving, and also Christmas. This decreed the those days were holidays for commonwealth employees.

However, there to be a distinction. The 4th was a vacation “within the district of Columbia” only. It took years of new legislation to increase the vacation to all federal employees.

5. The oldest annual Fourth the July celebration is hosted in Bristol, Rhode Island.

Eighty-five years prior to the government recognized fourth of July together a federal holiday, one tradition began that proceeds to this day. Billed as “America"s Oldest 4th of July Celebration,” the city of Bristol, Rhode Island, has been doing self-reliance Day right because 1785.

The festivities began just 2 years ~ the Revolutionary war ended, and 2021 will certainly be the 236th anniversary. End the years, the totality thing has increased well past July 4; the town of 23,000 occupants now begins to celebrate the United claims on Flag Day, June 14, every the method through come the 2.5-mile July 4 parade. What started as a “patriotic exercise”—meaning church services—has morphed into a cavalcade that parades, live music, food, and other activities. 

6. The shortest 4th of July parade is in Aptos, California.

The 4th of July parade in Aptos, California, is simply a hair over fifty percent a mile long. Acquisition up 2 city blocks, and measuring simply .6 miles, this brief bit that patriotism functions antique cars, decorated trucks, and plenty that walkers. Afterward, there"s a Party in the Park, where folks can enjoy live music, food, and games.

7. Over there are approximately 15,000 freedom Day fireworks celebrations every year.


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Fireworks over new York City.JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

According come a 2017 American Pyrotechnics association projection, about 15,000 fireworks screens occur because that the fourth of July holiday (even if some aren"t specifically on July 4). Though pricing varies, most tiny towns spend all over from $8000–$15,000 for a fireworks display, with larger cities going into the millions, prefer the Boston mister Fireworks Spectacular that averages an ext than $2 million.

8. Americans eat one obscene quantity of hot dogs on the fourth of July.

Americans consume about 150 million warm dogs while celebrating self-reliance Day. Follow to the National warm Dog and also Sausage Council, the amount of dogs can stretch indigenous Washington D.C. Come Los Angeles more than five times.

In 2018, Joey Chestnut scarfed under 74 of those franks, breaking his own people record. The year, Chestnut won the annual Nathan"s hot Dog eat Competition because that the eleventh time. He won again in 2019, noshing on 71 wieners.

9. Americans additionally spend billions ~ above food to celebrate the fourth of July.


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A very patriotic dessert.JillWellington, Pixabay // publicly Domain

For 2021, the nationwide Retail Federation predicts Americans will certainly spend roughly $7.52 exchange rate on tasty treats to celebrate the 4th of July. This contains food and also other cookout expenses, averaging the end to about $80 per human being participating in a barbecue, the end cookout, or picnic.

Then come the booze. According to the Beer Institute, “more beer is marketed on and also around the 4th of July holiday 보다 during any other time transparent the year.” Generally, Americans will spend approximately $1 billion on beer because that their 4th celebrations, and more than $560 million top top wine.

10. Three presidents have actually died, and one was born, on the fourth of July.

You probably recognize that both thomas Jefferson and also John Adams passed away on July 4, 1826—50 years to the job after the declaration of self-reliance was adopted. They"re not the just presidents to have died on the Fourth, though; James Monroe—the nation"s 5th president—died simply a few years afterwards July 4, 1831.

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Though the holiday could seem favor it has actually it out for former presidents, there to be one future leader born on independence Day. The country"s 30th Commander-in-Chief, Calvin Coolidge, to be born ~ above July 4, 1872.