My neighborhood just had a trivia night which gave me the idea for this month’s article. By the time you read this, it will be July 5th, but I still wanted to take this opportunity to renew and/or review some of the facts surrounding the Fourth of July.
- The actual vote of the Continental Congress was on July 2, 1776. John Adams wrote that July 2nd should be remembered in history but on July 4, 1776, Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence, and it was not signed until almost a month later. When the Declaration was officially approved on July 4, John Hancock, and Charles Thompson (president and secretary of the Continental Congress) signed the draft that day. But the official copy wasn’t signed by all 56 signers until August 2, 1776.
- The main author was Thomas Jefferson.
- The first celebration of the 4th of July was in Boston, MA in 1777
- The original flag had 13 stars representing the 13 original colonies. As states joined the union their star was added on the next July 4th.
- Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird. I am glad that the eagle was selected. A turkey just would not look the same at the top of a flagpole.
- Two former presidents of the United States died on July 4th of the same year; John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, on July 4, 1826, the fiftieth anniversary of the Fourth of July. Later, President James Monroe died on July 4, 1831.
- Calvin Coolidge was the first (and so far, the only) president to have been born on the Fourth of July. He was born on July 4, 1872, in Plymouth, Vermont, and went on to become president in 1923.
- Today, the United States has a population of more than 332.5 million, but on July 4, 1776, there were only 2.5 million people living in the United States. That means the population has grown by 13,200% since the first Independence Day.
- The Philippines declared independence from the United States on July 4, 1960
- One last bit of trivia that I did not remember – the real name for the Statue of Liberty (a gift from France) is Liberty Enlightening the World.
Now Here Is Some Interesting Food and Drink Trivia:
- While many of us enjoy a red, white, and blue cocktail on the Fourth of July, George Washington may have been the first to start the tradition. On the second anniversary of the first Fourth of July, America was still fighting for independence in the Revolutionary War. George Washington ordered a double ration of rum for his soldiers (along with an artillery salute) to celebrate the holiday on July 4, 1778.
- Today Americans eat 150 million hot dogs and drink 70 million cases of beer each 4th of July.
I hope that you enjoyed your holiday and that you have recovered from all those hot dogs and beer – and maybe even a double ration of rum.
Stay safe and healthy,