American History 101
With back yard barbeques, all day beach parties, family picnics in the park and grandiose fireworks displays, Independence Day isn’t just any ‘ole holiday – it’s a country-wide party and everyone is invited!
The 4th of July represents the pinnacle of summer and gives us the opportunity to indulge in many of our favorite traditional pastimes from parades to outdoor concerts. However, with all the festivities and flag-waving, it’s easy to forget about the achievements of our forefathers that won us all this freedom in the first place. So we made it our patriotic duty to provide you with a few 4th of July fun facts to sharpen up your Independence Day IQ. Now you can impress your friends as you sing Happy Birthday to America!
First, a little History Lesson:
- The Declaration of Independence is considered to be the founding document of the United States of America.
- Americans celebrate Independence on July 4 which was the day that the Declaration was adopted.
- John Hancock was the first and only person to sign the Declaration on July 4, 1776- the remaining 54 delegates did not sign until August 2, 1776.
- The Declaration explained the justifications for separation from the British crown.
- Thomas Jefferson, the actual author of the Declaration, wrote it in under 3 weeks.
- Thomas Jefferson died on July 4, 1826- the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
Now, some Fun Facts by the Numbers:
Once – The number of times that ringing the Liberty Bell caused it to crack.
31 – Cities in America have “liberty” in their names. 11 have the word “independence”.
1870- The year that Congress decided to make Independence Day an unpaid holiday for all federal workers. Another act was passed in 1938 which made this holiday a paid one!
2.5 million – In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation.
311.7 million – The nation’s estimated population on this July 4th.
More than 1 in 4 – The chance that the hot dogs and pork sausages consumed on the Fourth of July originated in Iowa. The Hawkeye State was home to 19.0 million hogs and pigs on March 1, 2011. This estimate represents more than 1/4 of the nation’s estimated total. North Carolina (8.6 million) and Minnesota (7.6 million) were also homes to large numbers of pigs.
Over 1 in 3 – The odds that your side dish of baked beans originated from North Dakota, which produced 36 % of the nation’s dry, edible beans in 2010. Another popular 4th of July side dish is corn on the cob. Florida, California, Georgia, Washington and New York together accounted for 68 % of the fresh market sweet corn produced nationally in 2010.
68 – The number of hot dogs and buns that world record holder Joey Chestnut of San Jose, Ca ate at Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island on the last 4th of July. He hopes to beat it this year.
81 million – Number of Americans who said they have taken part in a barbecue during the previous year. Most likely, a lot of these events took place on America’s Birthday!
Want to celebrate your new and improved Independence IQ? Check out AOL’s rather sophisticated scoring system which calculates a Percentage of Awesome for 15 of the country’s best fireworks displays.Posted on: Jun 28, 2012