The Fourth of July is a celebration of our country’s freedom and one of the most festive holidays in America. Every year we mark this all-American holiday with a wide range of celebratory festivities. From star-spangled parades to fireworks to concerts and backyard barbecues and picnics, there’s no shortage of terrific ways to spend the day.
But how much do we really know about our road to freedom and the signing of our country’s most important document? There are a lot of both interesting and fun facts surrounding the Fourth of July. Many of them include the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the American flag and our eating habits. In fact, there’s quite a bit that we probably don’t know. For a patriotic salute to Fourth of July we gathered some interesting facts and tidbits of trivia about our nation’s birthday.
The Signing of the Declaration of Independence
The official date of Independence Day is actually July 2. The discrepancy was discovered in a letter John Adams wrote to his wife. In it he cited July 2 as a day of great historical significance. That’s when Congress actually ruled in favor of independence. But it wasn’t until two days later on July 4 that they officially accepted the declaration. The two-day difference didn’t seem to matter much to Americans. They readily acknowledged July 4 as the day of their independence from British rule.
This year the U.S. turns 244 years old. Well, that can be debatable. There is some agreement among historians that this fact may be incorrect. It depends how you look at it and how you measure age. If you view it from the standpoint of when the Declaration of Independence was signed, then yes, the figure is correct. However, there are nine other potential ways to measure the birthday of the U.S. All of which are very interesting.
There are eight founding fathers. The foundation of our nation’s democracy is attributed to a group of men with different personalities and backgrounds. Collectively, it was their common goal of being free from British rule that united them. The eight official founding fathers are George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Samuel Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and John Jay.
Twenty-six copies of the Declaration of Independence still exist today. After the vote The Committee of Five assembled to draft the official document. And also to dot the i’s and cross the t’s before reproduction began. Upon approval, John Dunlap, a Philadelphia printer, distributed copies to the 13 colonies, newspapers and local officials. They became known as “Dunlap broadsides.” Today there are 26 surviving copies of this rare document.
A Patriotic Salute to the American Flag
The American flag, a symbol of our freedom, didn’t become official until June 14, 1777. It was on that day when the second Continental Congress passed the Flag Act of 1777. The Act took into consideration the 13 colonies. It stated that “the flag of the United States be made of 13 stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be 13 stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.” To date there has been 27 official versions of the flag. Its evolution is an interesting read.
There is no evidence that Betsy Ross is the official designer of the American Flag. There are many renditions of prints depicting Betsy sitting in a chair sewing the first flag. However, there is skepticism among historians. The only evidence to support this claim originated from family statements presented by Betsy’s grandson. Historians believe credit should go to Francis Hopkins. He is believed to have designed the first version of the stars and stripes. The current American flag chosen in 1960 was designed by a high school student.
Pennsylvania is the only state that recognizes Flag Day as a legal holiday. Even today the efforts of a Wisconsin teacher named Bernard J. Cigrand had no bearing on Congress to legalize the holiday. He spent years trying to convince them to make it official. Even though Flag Day is not a federal holiday, the flag is held in high esteem and present at public institutions and businesses year-round.
Six American Flags have been erected on the moon’s surface. On July 21, 1969 the first Americans to plant a U.S. flag on the moon were astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. The flag represents this iconic space exploration mission for its sense of accomplishment and proof that the U.S. was there.
Favorite Fourth of July Foods by the Numbers
Hamburgers take the top spot on the list of favorite Fourth of July foods. Over 85% of us will grill and serve this juicy barbecue mainstay. And that’s just the beginning. Round out your celebration with delicious red, white, and blue appetizers, side dishes and mouth-watering desserts.
Over 150 million hot dogs are consumed in the U.S. on the Fourth of July. And we bet you didn’t know that July is National Hot Dog Month. Let the celebration begin.
We love to picnic. As a result, in 2019 over 61% of Americans celebrated Fourth of July by attending a picnic.
It’s not a barbecue unless you have more than one side dish. The most popular side dishes accompanying our grill favorites are corn and potatoes. A handful of other veggies come in at third place. In Texas, no matter what you serve, there’s always has to be bowl of tortilla chips accompanied by a bowl of spicy salsa, guacamole and queso. Muy bueno!
Approximately 87% of homes in America have an outdoor barbecue grill. The experts at Weber grill have the answers to your most frequently asked questions. Master the art of barbecuing with Weber on your back burner.
Move-in Ready Homes and Fantastic Sunsets Now Available
Are you looking for your dream home? Check out Travisso’s current list of move-in ready available homes today. Specifically built for today’s busy lifestyles they offer open concept floor plans, media and game rooms, and large gourmet kitchens and gathering areas that make entertaining super easy. In addition, Travisso offers gorgeous Hill Country views, a family-friendly neighborhood and endless recreational possibilities for the entire family. For additional information call 512-243-8583.