With the 4th of July being a few days away, I want to share some facts that you may not know about this holiday. The 4th of July is a holiday that is near and dear to my heart in many ways. A lot of my favorite memories come from spending this day with my family near the ocean where I grew up. I watched fireworks over the ocean in my hometown and this is a rare case that my mom's side comes and I see my cousins ( who are like my siblings). There are a lot of traditions surrounding this holiday, but the public doesn't typically know a lot about this holiday minus the fact its the day we gained independence from Great Britain (or did we?)
1. The first Independence Day celebration took place in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776.
20 facts about the 4th of July
So the first celebration of our country's independence was not on the 4th? We the people of Philadelphia needed to hear the contents of the Declaration of Independence for themselves. Imagine being a rebel during that time and not being able to read it for yourself, so you had to rely on those reading it to you. There was a crowd surrounding the steps that day.
2. John Hancock was the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence.
John Hancock was the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence to Great Britain. His signature was also the largest and most visible because he believed in the cause so much. He didn't care if King George III saw his signature. Have you ever heard anyone ask you for your John Hancock? It's another way for them to ask you for your signature.
3. Benjamin Franklin proposed the turkey as the national bird but was overruled by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who recommended the bald eagle.
Turkey and Bald Eagle
20 Facts about the 4th of July
When you think of American Patriotism, do you think about the Bald Eagle? I can tell you that people associate us with our symbol the Bald Eagle. Did you know that Benjamin Franklin wanted us to be represented by the turkey? If you didn't know, Wild Turkeys are more aggressive then the Bald Eagle. Have you ever seen a wild turkey? I hope you get near a turkey and not get scratches or pecked at.
4. The vast majority of American Flags are being produced in China.
The Old Farmers Almanac
I feel like everything is pretty much made in China nowadays. When you buy an American Flag, make sure you read where the company gets their products from. Did you know that it is disrespectful to have the American Flag on clothing, accessories or other things minus the Flag by itself? That is a rule that the majority of the population breaks plus retailers are not helping. An American Flag may look cute on a piece of clothing, but technically it shouldn't be there.
5. Every 4th of July the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is tapped thirteen times in honor of the original thirteen colonies.
The reason that it's tapped on rather than rung is that the last time it rang was in 1846 on Washington's Birthday it became cracked. Now it's tapped 13 times to represent the 13 colonies during the revolutionary war against Great Britain on every 4th of July since 1846. Imagine being that person ringing that bell on Washington's Birthday in 1846.
6. The tune of the National Anthem was originally used by an English drinking song called “to Anacreon in Heaven.”
20 Facts about the 4th of July
What is really ironic is that the song was set up with partying in mind. How does an Englishman fighting for our cause think of a drinking song while writing the Star Spangled Banner? I can imagine while witnessing a battle that one would love a drink. I can't begin to imagine what he saw from the ship he was on while thinking of the poem. The Star Spangled Banner is to invoke pride in the hearts of every American and it does but when you think about this, it's quite a spectacle.
7. There were only two signers of the Declaration of Independence that served as President of the United States.
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams
Out of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, the only 2 that became president were John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. With Jefferson being the one that wrote and signed the Declaration of Independence, it is no surprise that he played a big role in America's history. These two were one of the famous feuding friends during this time. They also died on 4th of July within a couple of hours of each other. Friendship to the grave!
The 4th of July is a big holiday for the U.S and many traditions came from this holiday. If you celebrate with fireworks in your backyard or on the beach, we need to remember what this holiday is about. It's about the brave men and women who fought Great Britain for the right to be free from their King's tyrant rule. It's about how we fought with new strategies that did not work for the British army. It's about how we used our knowledge of our land to win the battles necessary to win the war. Nowadays, we tend to think about the parties and hang out sessions with the family. Be thankful for those who established our country.