4th Of July
Like how many hot dogs Americans eat each year — it's a lot.
The Fourth of July is typically celebrated with a flurry of patriotism on full display across America each year — fireworks, barbecues, parades — and red, white, and, blue everything — marks the occasion. But aside from all of the pomp and circumstance, there are plenty of Fourth of July facts to share with your kids to help them learn more about Independence Day.
Whether you read books about Fourth Of July together, watch documentaries, or recap what your kids learn in history class, most parents can easily regurgitate why Americans celebrate The Fourth: The holiday marks the occasion of the 13 original colonies’ proclamation of independence from Great Britain in 1776 with the signing of The Declaration of Independence. It’s essentially a celebration of when America as we know it today made a formal break from English rule.
While these facts can help kids understand the reasons why America’s birthday is worth celebrating, some of them are also just plain fun and interesting — like, who knew Americans consume upwards of 150 million hot dogs each Fourth of July? Read on to see what other fun Fourth of July facts you can share with your kids above and beyond how to dress your entire family in matching stars and stripes. (Although that sounds like a great plan, too, TBH.)
Americans spend a ton of money on food for Independence Day.
Anyone who has planned a holiday event involving food knows that the spending involved can easily add up. Americans are expected to spend approximately $7.7 billion on food for The Fourth in 2022.
America’s population in 1776 was about 2.5 million.
When the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, the population at that time in what would become formally known as America consisted of about 2.5 million colonists. The U.S. population today is approximately 130 times larger than it was then and growing.
The White House’s first Fourth of July celebration happened In 1801.
The first time The White House formally celebrated Fourth of July was in 1801. Thomas Jefferson was President and he threw a festival complete with horse races, parades, and music. The White House still continues the tradition yearly with a large celebration each year.
Americans eat about 150 million hot dogs each year on The Fourth.
One food famously consumed on Fourth of July is the hot dog. Americans eat about 150 million hot dogs each year on Independence Day. Though the number is definitely an approximation (because who can really count all of those hot dogs), it’s fun to think about just how many of these delicious dogs Americans consume each year for the holiday.
John Hancock was the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence.
If you’ve never shared with your kiddo what it means when someone asks for “your John Hancock,” the Fourth of July holiday is the perfect time to explain. John Hancock, a merchant by trade, was the first statesman to sign the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
The current American flag is the 27th version.
Though the iconic design of Old Glory has not changed since the 50th star was added in 1960, there were 26 previous versions of the U.S. flag. The original design featured 13 stars and stripes, each representative of a former British colony. Today, the stripes still number 13 and there is a star to represent each state in the union.
Benjamin Franklin was the oldest person to sign the Declaration of Independence.
Your kids may already know a thing or two about one of the most well-known Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin, but do they know that he was the oldest person to sign the Declaration of Independence? Franklin was 70 years old in 1776. Edward Rutledge, aged 26, was the youngest signer of the historic document.
The Fourth of July holiday wasn’t ‘official’ for nearly a century.
The Fourth wasn’t officially named a federal holiday in the U.S. until 1870 — 94 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Though federal recognition happened in 1870, the provision wasn’t expanded to include July 4 as a paid holiday for federal employees until 1941.
The first Fourth of July parade happened in Rhode Island.
Parades are a mainstay of Independence Day celebrations in the U.S. dating back to the year 1785 when the first 4th of July parade took place in Bristol, Rhode Island. Today, the town celebrates America’s birthday from Flag Day in June through The Fourth with a parade route that lasts 2.5 miles.
“The Star-Spangled Banner” didn’t become the National Anthem until 1931.
Although Francis Scott Key first penned the tune in 1814, The Star-Spangled Banner didn’t become America’s National Anthem until President Herbert Hoover signed a congressional act on March 3, 1931. Now, the song is played at many events, including those celebrating Independence Day.
Two signers of the Declaration of Independence were eventually elected president.
Only two men whose signatures appear on the historic document would go on to become president — John Adams in 1797 and Thomas Jefferson in 1801. Adams was the country’s second president and Jefferson was the third.
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died on July 4.
It’s sad, but true, that both of these iconic historical figures passed on the patriotic holiday in the same year. Both Jefferson and Adams died on July 4, 1826, which also marked the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
Share these Fourth Of July facts with the younger generation this July Fourth weekend.
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