It’s time for Independence Day, and for many, that means a long weekend full of fun activities like picnics, parades, and fireworks to celebrate the 241st anniversary of our nation’s independence from the British Empire. It’s a day to celebrate our freedom and reflect on the history of the country we call home.
Speaking of food, did you know that about 155 million hot dogs are consumed each year on the 4th of July? That’s enough to stretch from Washington D.C. to L.A. five times! Last year, 70 of those hot dogs were consumed in just 10 minutes by competitive eater Joey Chestnut at the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest which is held every year in Coney Island, New York.
Here are a few other interesting facts you may not have known about Independence Day
- The Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 men from 13 colonies. The average age of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence was 45. The youngest was South Carolina’s Edward Rutledge, 26, and the oldest delegate was 70-year-old Benjamin Franklin. The lead author of The Declaration, Thomas Jefferson, was 33.
- Benjamin Franklin was displeased that the bald eagle was chosen as the national bird – his choice was the turkey. In a letter to his daughter, Sarah Bache in 1784, he said of the bald eagle, “He is a bird of bad moral character. He does not get his living honestly.” He claimed that the turkey was “a bird of courage” and was far “more respectable” than the “lazy” bald eagle.
- In 1776, there were 2.5 million people living in the new nation. Today the population of the U.S.A. is 326 million.
- Gatlinburg, Tennessee wastes little time in getting their celebration underway. The Annual Gatlinburg Fourth of July Midnight Parade steps off each year at 12:01 a.m. This year’s parade is the 42nd annual installment and is expected to draw an estimated 80,000 spectators.
- Due to concerns about cracking the iconic Liberty Bell, it has not been rung since 1846. Instead, the 2,000-pound bell is tapped 13 times each year on Independence Day.
- Over 14,000 professional firework displays light up the skies in the United States each 4th of July according to The American Pyrotechnics Association.
- The United States isn’t alone in celebrating their independence on July 4th. Both the Philippines and Rwanda also celebrate July 4th as a day of liberation. In Southeast Asia, it is known as “Republic Day” and Rwandans celebrate “Liberation Day.”
From our family at Topper’s to yours, we hope you have a safe and happy 4th of July! Give us a call today to help get your party started off right.