The Fourth of July is celebrated as Independence Day in the United States of America. Americans commemorate the Declaration of Independence of the United States signed in 1776 when 13 American colonies were declared to be free from British rule.
From fireworks to the declaration itself, here are 11 interesting facts about the national day of the United States.
1. Independence Was Not Declared on July 4
The Declaration of Independence was not signed on July 4 in 1776. It was signed during the official vote cast on July 2. The news was published in newspapers on July 4.
2. Declaration Signed by Two on The Day of Declaration
On the day of declaration of independence, only Charles Thompson and John Hancock signed the agreement. The rest of the 54 delegates signed it on different dates in August.
3. Richard Stockton Recanted the Declaration of Independence
Richard Stockton, a lawyer from New Jersey, was the only person who recanted the declaration after signing it. He did so after he was captured by the British in November 1776 and was put in jail. When he was released after rigorous imprisonment, his property including library was burnt down and destroyed.
4. Mystery of Writing on the Back of the Declaration
Something is written on the back of the Declaration of Independence document that is not readable easily. History Channel had reported that the words "Original Declaration of Independence dated 4th July 1776", are written upside down on the backside of the Declaration.
5. Declaration of Independence Drafted on a 'Laptop'
Shocked? But it is true. While drafting the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson used a desk that fit perfectly over his lap. This was desk came to be called as "laptop" back then.
6. Americans Eat 150 Million Hot Dogs on July 4
The National Sausage and Hot Dog Council (NHDSC) stated that Americans consume at least 150 million hot dogs on July 4. The Council also stated that between Memorial Day and Labor Day (summer season), American consume a total of seven billion hot dogs.
7. The Tradition of Bottoms up With Rum
George Washington started this tradition in 1778. On July 4, Washington ordered double ration of rum for American troops fighting the American Revolutionary War to celebrate the national holiday. Thus rum too has become a tradition and symbol of the celebration since then.
8. The Eye Candy – Fireworks
Fireworks are the most important part of celebrating the national holiday. It is said that Americans burst fireworks worth at least $1bn on July 4. Out of this, only 10 percent of fireworks displays are set off professionally, the rest are burst individually or in small groups at private events. The event also causes injuries to at least 13,000 people on an average across America, say reports.
9. Danger of Wearing Old Glory!
Wearing a flag t-shirt, beach towel, shorts, headband, or any other item that represents the US flag is a violation of the US Flag Code. However the Flag Code is not enforced in the country, so no one will be arrested for violating it. But mind it, it is still a violation of the rule.
10. Not a Federal Holiday for Long
July 4 was not declared as a federal holiday for nearly 100 years from the date of the Declaration of Independence. However, the day is being deemed a federal holiday since 1870.
11. Deaths Marking 50th Anniversary
The 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence was turned into a mourning day as two great leaders of America, Thomas Jefferson, 82, and John Adams, 90, died on the same day on July 4, 1826. Both died within five hours' difference.