As the country is already halfway into the celebrations of Independence Day, it was important for us to share some unknown facts about July 4. American Independence Day is way more than celebrating and feasting. It is a day to look back upon the time that led to the fight of independence and what made it finally acquire it. It is also a day to know about some of the facts that we should note as citizens of America.
Things to know about American Independence Day
As you celebrate freedom and democracy on July 4, 2019, it is also time to know some facts about it:
1. The declaration date
The viral image where the Founding Father and Continental Congress sat together to present the initial draft of the declaration of independence didn’t happen on July 4. The legal process is said to be carried out on July 2, which would have originally been the day of independence. However, it was declared and documented on July 4, and that’s how this day became the American Independence Day.
2. The first ever celebration
After years of suppression and domination, the natives of America were finally set free in 1776. From army men to fellow civilians, everybody came to the roads to break down the statue of King George III in Bowling Green, Manhattan. The coat of arms owned by the king was burnt in a bonfire at Savannah and many of his effigies were treated in the same way.
From 1777, the celebration of American Independence Day became how you know it today. From beautifully lit up streets to magnificent fireworks, from new clothes to feasting, July 4 became a day to rejoice.
3. The essence of salmon
You’ve probably had salmon all your life amongst the other 4th of July celebrations but never thought about its essence. The tradition of eating salmon originated from New England. One fine summer, there was a bounty of salmon production that made it cheap and available to most people. The timespan soon merged with the American Independence Day, and people haven’t stopped having salmon ever since.
If you’re new to America or have no idea about having salmon on July 4, you must pair it up with green peas. For more authenticity, make yourself some turtle soup and have salmon along with it.
4. The holiday at Massachusetts is historic
Till 1781, not all parts of America considered July 4 as a public holiday. On July 3, 1781, the first place to recognize American Independence Day was Massachusetts. It was the first state to do so. However, it was not until June 28, 1870, when Congress made this a federal holiday.
After this change, every calendar in America had four major holidays. These include Easter celebrations, Thanksgiving, New Year’s Day, Christmas, and Independence Day. All the federal employees have an off on these holidays, which are also public holidays across America.
Note that the holiday was only limited for the District of Columbia during the first few years. It took a lot of time for the current legislation to expand the holidays to the federal employees.
5. The history and tradition of Bristol
It is amusing to know that 85 years before July 4 was recognized as a federal holiday, Bristol had begun celebrating the day. This place locates in Rhode Island and is the oldest place that celebrates American independence.
The celebrations in this area started two years after the end of the Revolutionary War. Today, this place celebrates for the 234th time since 1785. As centuries have passed, the way of celebrating this day in Bristol has changed as well. Now, the festivities begin from Flag Day (June 14) and continues with hosting parades for two weeks straights.
The celebration of American independence was initially a religious and patriotic affair. However, now it includes feasts, parades, live music, shopping, and much more.
6. Tiniest parade of Aptos
While most people know about the longest parades across the US, many don’t know about the shortest. A parade in Bristol usually stretches for 2.3 miles, but the one at Aptos is just about half a mile long. It takes up the space of two city blocks but it is no way less in terms of festivities and patriotism.
The Aptos parade is famous for featuring several walkers, antique cards, decorated trucks, and more. It continues in the Park where people have a lavish party, perform folk music, play games, and eat well.
7. The beauty of fireworks
According to the report from the American Pyrotechnics Association, there are more than 15,000 fireworks lit all across the US on July 4. The amount of money spent by each city on fireworks can vary anywhere from $8000 to $15,000 or more. The big cities often spend more than a million to light up the sky. The famous Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular costs about $2.5 million or more.
8. Hot dogs are important
If you’ve been in America for long, you’d know how much the natives love hot dogs. On July 4, people eat more than 150 million hot dogs. Every event, park, or feast area, will sell hot dogs and salmon recipes on this day. Both of these are significant traditions that people follow religiously.
9. Billions of dollars go on food
Americans love to eat out but on July 4, it gets more than other public holidays. According to the National Retail Federation, the citizens spend over $7 billion on food. It includes food that people eat out or their cookout costs. Several families indulge in preparing outdoor barbeque, outdoor cookout, picnic, and more.
People also spend a lot of money on hard drinks. According to the Beer Institute, Americans spend around $450 million on wine and around $1 billion on beer on this day.
10. The history of presidents of America
Most of us know that both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams had died on July 4, 1826. But you might not know that even James Monroe, the 5th president of America, also died on this day in 1831. On the contrary, the nation’s 30th Commander-in-chief, Calvin Coolidge, was born on July 4, 1872.
These facts definitely give us more reasons to rejoice today, so Happy Independence Day to you!