here’s to freedom

here’s to freedom

Written By

Sara Seamons

Let freedom ring! Independence Day is tomorrow, and while you’re gearing up for your fireworks, barbeques, and family gatherings, here are some cool facts about the Fourth of July that you probably didn’t know . . .

  1. Although the holiday commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the Fourth of July was not officially named a federal holiday until 1941.
  2. Independence Day may honor the Americas’ revolt against Great Britain, but we’re actually on great terms with the Brits today. We’ve been allies in multiple wars, and currently the U.K. is our sixth leading trading partner.
  3. Three American Presidents—Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Monroe—all died on July Fourth. Lucky coincidence?
  4. Oddly enough, most of your Independence Day décor is made in China. The U.S. spends almost $349 million every year to import Chinese-made flags, banners, decorations, and emblems.
  5. More than 74 million Americans barbeque every Fourth of July.
  6. The Fourth of July is the biggest hot dog holiday of the year. Over 155 million hot dogs are consumed every Independence Day, and apparently that’s enough dogs to stretch from Los Angeles to Washington D.C.—more than five times!
  7. Independence Day has repeatedly been the deadliest holiday of the year, due mostly to alcohol consumption. I was surprised that it consistently outranks New Year’s Eve, but since July Fourth often involves drunk people setting off fireworks, I guess that makes sense.
  8. On that subject, 68.3 million cases of beer—not bottles, cases—are sold every July Fourth.
  9. Judged on attendance, cost, amount of explosives, show length, and pure awesomeness, the Macy’s Firework Spectacular in New York City takes the cake as 2011’s biggest fireworks display in America. During the 26-minute show, 75,000 pounds of fireworks lit up the sky.
  10. On a more serious note, let’s not forget that Independence Day is a day to remember all the sacrifices that have made our freedom possible. Millions of Americans throughout history have given their lives protecting this country, and today 1,478,000 U.S. servicemen and women are actively serving their country around the world.

There you have it folks. Have a great Independence Day!

Photo by Hope Abrams