Fourth of July is a holiday I look forward to every year! Full of outside, summer fun, barbecued foods, and firework displays. Behind all of that, however, is history! In celebration of our nation's Independence Day, here are 15 fun facts and pieces of trivia:
1. John Hancock was the only member of the Continental Congress to formally sign the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776.
2. The Fourth of July was not declared a federal holiday until 1938.
3. The first White House Fourth of July party was held in 1804.
4. Around 150 million hot dogs are consumed on Fourth of July (wonder if this statistic includes the hot dogs consumed during the annual Nathan's Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest?)
5. Back in 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was signed, 2.5 million new people lived in the U.S. Now 240 years later, 311 million people live.
6. The now American-celebrated song, Yankee Doodle, was originally written by officers of the British army to make fun of backwoods Americans.
7. Three United States presidents died on the Fourth of July: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe.
8. July 4th is also celebrated in the Philippines, because in 1946, the country was recognized as an independent nation.
9. In one year, $600 million is spent on fireworks alone in the U.S.
10. Most of the signers of the Declaration did not formally sign until August 2, 1776.
11. Though it is no treasure map as predicted by Benjamin Gates in "National Treasure," the message "Original Declaration of Independence dated 4th July 1776" is written upside down on the back of the Declaration of Independence.
12. More than 14,000 firework displays are put on across the country on Fourth of July!
13. Bristol, Rhode Island is home to the world's oldest Independence Day celebration. It dates back to 1785!
14. In 1781, the great state of Massachusetts became the first one to declare Independence Day a holiday.
15. Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Display is the largest in the United States.