Here are some fun facts about the 4th of July

  • America’s 30th President, Calvin Coolidge, was born on July 4, 1872.
  • Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on a “laptop,” which was a writing desk that could fit on one’s lap.
  • Thomas Jefferson changed the wording of the Declaration of Independence from “the pursuit of property” to “the pursuit of happiness.”
  • Jefferson’s original draft of the declaration of independence was lost, and the one eventually signed is the “engrossed” document.
  • The printed version of the Declaration was called the Dunlap Broadside; 200 were made but only 27 are accounted for. The most valuable of all is the engrossed copy, the handwritten one signed by the 56 signers, now safely in the National Archives in Washington.
  • Only two men actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776: John Hancock and Charles Thompson.
  • In 1776, about 2.5 million people lived in the United States versus 311.7 million people in 2011.
  • The oldest continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States is the 4th of July Parade in Bristol, Rhode Island; it began in 1785.
  • Three out of the first five presidents died on the 4th of July: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe.
  • The White House held its first 4th of July party in 1801.
  • Congress declared July 4th as an official holiday in 1870 as part of a bill to officially recognize other holidays, Christmas being one of them.
  • The tune of the National Anthem was originally used by an English drinking song called To Anacreon (a form of poetry) in Heaven.
  • The “Star Spangled Banner” was written by Francis Scott Key and was originally a poem stemming from his observations in 1814 concerning the British attack on Baltimore’s Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. It was later put to music, though not decreed the official national anthem until 1931. In 1954, the words ‘under God’ were added to the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • An estimated 150 million hot dogs will be consumed on July 4th – enough to stretch between Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. more than five times.
  • “Yankee Doodle,” a popular American patriotic song, was originally sung prior to the Revolution by British military officers in mockery of the unorganized and buckskin-wearing “Yankees.”
  • Several countries have used the Declaration of Independence as a beacon in their own struggles for freedom. These countries include France, Greece, Poland, Russia, and many countries in South America.