4 Facts Proving You Know Nothing About the Fourth of July
Updated: Sep 22
Over 24 decades of celebrating the Fourth of July has taken place to date, adding another one to the books in a week. It’s one of America’s most cherished holidays of the year. Typically celebrated with a day off soaking in the outdoors accompanied by a grill out and ending with lots of fireworks. But there’s more history to it than that.
If you didn’t know everything about the Fourth, then prepare yourself for a brief lesson - apologies if you’re having flashbacks to your 7th grade history class. Here are the 4 things you might not know (and what we thought were cool facts) about the Fourth of July.
1. The celebration for the holiday has evolved since it first took place. Back in the 1700s, the group gatherings and festivities were more intense. You can imagine how relieved the colonies were after years of built up frustration was finally released with the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Military personnel and civilians all over the nation were vandalizing anything that had to do with King George III. Some statues were even used for bonfires, melted into bullets, and mock funerals.
If you’re wondering when the most iconic moment of celebrating July 4 - aka. Fireworks occurred, it wasn’t much after. Independence day celebrations began to look more familiar to what we know today around 1777. On the evening of America's independence anniversary the skies were filled with a grand exhibition of fireworks. They even had decked out ships in patriotic colors lining the harbors and streets. Anybody down to throw a historically correct Fourth of July this year?
2. The Declaration of Independence wasn’t signed on the Fourth of July. This may come as a shocking factor but it wasn’t signed in July at all - don’t take it out on your history teacher. The iconic painting of the Founding Fathers and Continental Congress huddled together presenting the first draft of the Declaration of Independence isn’t exactly how everything went down.
Although it’s generally accepted that July 4 isn’t the actual date of the Declaration of Independence signing, it is the day the document was formally dated, finalized, and adopted by the Continental Congress. The entire process didn’t finalize until August 2. For a more in-depth history lesson, check this out.
3. Over 15,000 Independence Day fireworks celebrations occur each year according to the American Pyrotechnics Association. If you’ve Googled ‘Things to Do on the 4th of July’, then you’ve probably fell upon the hundreds of results that pop up. Most areas from small towns to large cities celebrate with their own event - and they can cost anywhere from $8,000 to millions of dollars.
Fun Fact: Boston’s Pop Fireworks Spectacular costs around $2.5 million to put on. Now, that’s a sight to see.
4. Billions of Dollars are spent on food and drinks for this holiday alone. It’s a booming day for big business and we've all contributed to this spending explosion. Americans slurge around $7.1 billion for cookouts and other related expenses. When you add drinks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic, to the mix American’s spend over $1 billion.
The most prominent food item being consumed is the hot dog. Around 150 to be exact, which can stretch from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles more than four times. Now, who’s ready for hot dog eating contests?