July 4th… did you know…

Many people know that July 4th is considered “America’s birthday” and that it is celebrated with fireworks, parades, barbeques, and other activities. Yet, there are some facts about this day that might surprise or interest you. Here are ten things you may not already know about Independence Day:

  • John Hancock was the only person to actually sign the Declaration Of Independence on July 4, 1776. The other 55 signers did not sign it until August 2nd or even later.
  • The youngest signer of the Declaration Of Independence was 26-year-old Edward Rutledge. The oldest signer was Benjamin Franklin. He was 70. Most of the signers were in their 30s and 40s.
  • When the United States became a country, there were approximately 2.5 million people living in the country. Today the population is around 304 million.
  • In 1778, General George Washington celebrated the 4th of July by giving his soldiers a double ration of rum. On this same day, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, who were in Paris, France, held a dinner for fellow Americans in celebration of this day.
  • Independence Day was first celebrated on July 4, 1777 in Philadelphia.
  • The first recorded use of the words “Independence Day” was in 1791.
  • In 1870, Independence Day was made an unpaid holiday for all federal employees.
  • The 4th of July was not a legal federal holiday until 1941. At this time, it was made a paid holiday.
  • Bristol, Rhode Island has the oldest, continuous 4th of July celebration dating back to 1785.
  • America’s Freedom Festival, held in Provo, Utah, is one of the biggest freedom festivals and includes one of the largest parades, a balloon launch, and in the evening the Stadium of Fire. Stadium of Fire is a fireworks display hosted at Brigham Young University’s LaVell Edwards Stadium.
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