The Fourth of July marks one of the most significant events in the history of the United States. It is celebrated nationwide with red, white, and blue decorations, fireworks, and parades. As we gear up for this year’s celebration with our families, let’s take some time to remember and appreciate the history and culture behind the Fourth of July. In this blog post, we’ll share a few lesser-known fun facts that you can use to impress your friends and family at your Independence Day gathering.
1. Declaration of Independence – The Declaration of Independence, which signified America’s independence from British rule, was signed on July 4th, 1776, in Philadelphia. However, the formal announcement was not made until July 8th, 1776, when the document was printed and distributed. Only two of the 56 signers, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, later became presidents of the United States. Coincidentally, both of these presidents died on the 4th of July, 1826.
2. The Start of the National Anthem – The Star-Spangled Banner, the national anthem of the United States, was written by Francis Scott Key during the attack of Fort McHenry by the British in September 1814. Key, who was watching the bombardment from a distance, wrote the anthem when he saw the American flag flying proudly over the fort hours after it was thought to have fallen. The song was officially recognized as the national anthem in 1931.
3. Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest – Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating contest has become a staple of the Fourth of July, with contestants from around the world competing to eat as many hot dogs and buns as possible in 10 minutes. The contest originated in 1916 when four immigrants held a hot dog eating contest in Coney Island to prove their patriotism. The current men’s record of eating hot dogs and buns is 74, held by Joey Chestnut, while Miki Sudo currently holds the women’s record at 48.5.
4. Macy’s Fireworks Show – The annual Macy’s Fireworks Show is one of the most highly anticipated Fourth of July events and draws millions of viewers each year. The first Macy’s fireworks show took place in 1958, and it has since become an iconic part of American culture. The fireworks are launched from barges in the Hudson River and set to music specifically composed for the event.
5. The First Fourth of July Party – The first Fourth of July party was held in 1777 by Americans in Philadelphia. The party was a way to commemorate the first anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. This event included a parade, a thirteen-gun salute, and fireworks – setting a tradition that continues until today.
The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate our independence and pay homage to the people and events that make our country great. As we take part in this year’s festivities with our families, let us remember the meaning behind the celebration and appreciate the rich history and culture of our great nation. By sharing these fun facts, we hope to add an extra layer of awareness and excitement to your celebrations this year. Happy Fourth of July!