Did you hear that? Sounds like fireworks to us!
July 4th, America’s most patriotic holiday, is almost here—and we’re getting so excited just thinking about the fun our long weekend plans will bring! When it comes to festive things to do on July 4th, the options are endless. For those who plan on hosting a patriotic party, you can make an impression by using The Pioneer Woman’s 4th of July decorations and serving these delicious 4th of July desserts. Whatever you end up doing, we’re sure it’ll be a blast. (Maybe literally, if you’re planning to watch fireworks!)
If you really want to blow the minds of your family and friends, surprise them with your obscure July 4th knowledge. We’ve created a list of fun July 4th trivia facts that you may or may not have heard before. We hope you feel a little more patriotic by the time you reach the end. Be sure to let us know in the comments which fact surprised you the most!
John Adams predicted that Independence Day would be a huge celebration for many generations to come.
In a letter he wrote to his wife, Abigail Adams, he declared that the day should be filled with games, sports, parades, and laughter. He basically wrote out our list of the best things to do the 4th of July!
Independence Day was once celebrated on July 5th.
The holiday fell on a Sunday in 1779, so Americans celebrated on Monday, the fifth of July.
Three US presidents have died on the 4th of July.
James Monroe, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson all died on the patriotic day. (Adams and Jefferson passed in 1826, and Monroe passed five years later in 1831.)
There are some copies of the Declaration of Independence with a woman’s signature on it.
Mary Katharine Goddard wasn’t one of the official signers in 1776, but the printer and publisher added her name to the Declaration of Independence after she was hired by Congress to print copies.
The 50th star was added to the American flag on July 4, 1960.
It symbolized Hawaii’s admission as the US’s 50th state.
John Adams thought Independence Day should be celebrated on July 2.
He had a point, given that the Continental Congress did declare its freedom from Great Britain on July 2, 1776. However, an official document explaining this move to the public wasn’t published until two days later, on July 4, 1776.
Americans a lot of hot dogs on July 4th. About 150 million, to be exact.
Yes, you read that right! According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, Los Angeles residents alone consume about 30 million pounds of hot dogs on July 4th. It’s safe to say they’re a holiday favorite!
The Nathan’s Famous 4th of July hot dog eating contest began over a century ago.
According to the company itself, the first unofficial contest took place on July 4th, 1916. The contest, which began with four immigrants competing to determine who was the most patriotic, ended up becoming one of the most widely known July 4th traditions in America.
Despite what you might have thought, only two men signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776.
You can thank John Hancock and Charles Thompson for this one. The rest of the delegates signed within the weeks that followed.
America’s 4th of July tradition is a bit of a loud one, but iconic nonetheless. According to History.com, the custom dates back to 1777.
When we look at the costs, Americans spend over $1 billion on fireworks every 4th of July.
This fact just blows our mind!
July 4th wasn’t an official holiday until almost 100 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed.
It wasn’t common to celebrate this patriotic event for the first few decades of America’s independence. When it was established as an official holiday in 1870, it became one of the most popular nonreligious celebrations in the United States.
There were only about 2.5 million people living in the United States in 1776.
That number is drastically different from the approximately 332 million people that live here today!
Hospitals receive a surplus of patients on July 4th due to fireworks-related injuries.
In 2020, an estimated 15,600 people were hospitalized with injuries related to fireworks. Learning proper firework handling protocol can help prevent these mishaps.
Our national anthem wasn’t ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ until 1931.
It took 117 years for the words written in 1814 by Francis Key Scott to gain federal recognition. Now, it is easily one of the most famous songs in the country.
The One World Trade Center in New York was designed to be 1,776 feet tall.
One of the most spectacular features of the building is its height, which represents the year America declared independence from Great Britain.
The Liberty Bell hasn’t been rung since 1846.
Every year on July 4, children who are descendants of the Declaration signers tap the Liberty Bell 13 times. It’s a sentimental tradition to help honor the original 13 colonies. The last time the bell rang was on Washington’s birthday in February 1846, when a major crack appeared on the bell.
The first newspaper to print the Declaration of Independence was the Pennsylvania Evening Post.
They didn’t waste any time, either. The Declaration was published in the paper’s Saturday issue, on July 6, 1776. It was soon published in other newspapers throughout the colonies—and there was even a German translation of it printed in the Pennsylvania Staatsbotewhich was a newspaper that catered to Pennsylvania’s large German population.
George Washington celebrated the 4th of July in 1778 even though he was at war.
On July 4, 1778, George Washington treated US soldiers to a double ration of rum and a cannon salute.
It was once considered disrespectful to keep your business open on the 4th of July.
Before the Civil War, people who kept their businesses open during the holiday were deemed unpatriotic. However, it became more acceptable after the war when storeowners started holding “patriotic” Fourth of July sales.
It’s a tradition in New England to eat salmon on the 4th of July.
Eating salmon and peas on Independence Day is a New England practice that dates back centuries. Many swear by the recipe, and have made it a staple for the American holiday. Will this be something you cook up for your July 4th barbecue?
There are other countries that celebrate America’s independence on the Fourth of July.
Countries like Denmark, England, Norway, Portugal, and Sweden all take part in hosting commemorations for the holiday. This is in part to honor their many citizens who emigrated to the US, but also as a move to attract tourists.
There is one US president who was born on the 4th of July.
America’s 30th president, Calvin Coolidge, was born on July 4, 1872.
A time capsule was buried by Paul Revere and Sam Adams.
On July 4, 1795, the two men placed the capsule under the Massachusetts State House in Boston. It was discovered more than two centuries later by workers fixing a leak. When state officials opened it, they discovered a pine tree shilling coin, a copper medal engraved with an image of George Washington, several newspapers, and a silver plate thought to be engraved by Paul Revere.
There are 31 towns in the US that contain the word ‘liberty.’
The largest town is Liberty, Missouri, with a population of 32,865.
Josiah Soto is the assistant editor of news and social for The Pioneer Woman. He helps manage the website’s social channels, in addition to writing high-performing news and entertainment content daily.