Most folks look forward to the Fourth of July holiday for a number of reasons – a long weekend, BBQs with family and friends, and to celebrate a minor historical event called the American Revolution. As you get together with your friends (other Jaycees included) to toss your favorite food on the grill and crack open a few of your favorite beverages, take a few minutes before you hit the parade or ball game to share a few of these little known facts about the mid-summer holiday.
- The stars on the original American flag were in a circle so all the colonies would appear equal.
- Benjamin Franklin proposed the turkey as the national bird, but was overruled by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson who pushed for the bald eagle.
- The first official Fourth of July party was held at the White House in 1801.
- Firecrackers were a big part of the early Independence Day celebrations. The horses were not amused.
- July 4th only became a national holiday in 1941.
- Almost 90% of American homes have an outdoor grill.
- Over 150 million hot dogs are consumed on July 4th alone.
- About 700 million pounds of chicken are purchased in the week leading up to the holiday.
- July 4th is the biggest beer-selling holiday of the year.
- Americans spend about $11 million on popsicles to enjoy during the celebration.
And some for the trivia fans:
- Approximately 41 million Americans will spend the holiday at other people’s homes.
- The US imports about $3.6 million of American flags each year, most from China.
- One out of eight signers of the Declaration of Independence went to Harvard.
- The total population of the United States in 1776 was about 2.5 million.
- There are more than 14,000 fireworks displays across the country every July 4th.
Now that you have your facts straight, tell us what you’re planning for the holiday, and afterwards, what was your most enjoyable memory from this July 4th weekend. A special event? Spending time with family and friends? Eating? Share your thoughts on our Facebook and Twitter pages. They’re open for the holiday!