“The Star-Spangled Banner” was actually a poem – Francis Key Scott wrote the poem after the War of 1812. Only later were his words put to music, and then in 1931, the song became our national anthem.
Three of our founding fathers died on July 4. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson passed away in 1826 on the 50th anniversary of our independence. Five years later, James Monroe died on the same day.
The United States Congress made the Fourth a federal holiday in 1870.
Ben Franklin wanted a turkey as the U.S. animal stating that it was a “bird of courage.” However, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson outvoted him and chose the bald eagle.
Before hot dogs became the popular food, the go to summertime specialty was turtle soup. It was a must-have on any July 4 menu in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Philadelphia held the first large-scale public display of fireworks in honor of our independence in 1777. Fireworks originated in tenth-century China, when a cook mistakenly added various chemicals together. What resulted was the first man-made explosion of sparks.
In 1776, 2.5 million people lived in the United States. Since then, the population has grown to more than 313 million. The Census Bureau projects that 439 million Americans will celebrate July 4 in 2050.
Declaration of Independence Pop Quiz:
- Who was the oldest signer of the Declaration of Independence?
- Who was the youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence?
- How many of the signers were born in Great Britain?
- Which two future Presidents signed the Declaration of Independence?
- Who was the longest-lived (and last surviving) signatory of the Declaration of Independence?
- How many men signed the Declaration of Independence?
- How many of the signers were clergymen?