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17 Fun Facts About the Fourth of July

It has now been 236 years since the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

Here are 17 fun facts about the Fourth of July to share with friends and family…

1. A Truly Young Nation

The average age of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence was 45.

The youngest was Thomas Lynch, Jr (27) of South Carolina.  The oldest delegate was Benjamin Franklin (70) of Pennsylvania.

The lead author of The Declaration, Thomas Jefferson, was 33.

2. Men of Harvard

1 out of 8 signers of the signers were educated at Harvard (7 total).

Four each at William & Mary, Yale, and Princeton.

George Wythe was a professor at William & Mary and one of his students was Thomas Jefferson.

3. An Act of Treason

After signing the Declaration, John Hancock remarked that Congress must now “all hang together”.

Benjamin Franklin replied,

“Yes, we must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

4. Happy July 2nd

The initial date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress was July 2, 1776.

The next day, John Adams remarked in a letter to his wife Abigail:

“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America.

I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.

It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”

5. Date for History

Congress revised the Declaration for final approval on July 4, 1776.

The only two signers of the Declaration of Independence who later served as President of the United States were John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.

Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson (bitter rivals) died on the same day, July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration.

6. Our National Turkey

Benjamin Franklin wrote in a letter to his daughter Sarah Bache in 1784:

“For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country.

He is a Bird of bad moral character. He does not get his Living honestly.

You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk;

And when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.

I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey.  For in Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America.

He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.

7. Enjoy Your Day Off Without Pay

Congress made Independence Day an official unpaid holiday for federal employees in 1870.

(In 1938, Congress changed Independence Day to a paid federal holiday)

8. Our Nation Has Grown

There were an estimated 2.5 million people living in the newly independent nation in 1776.

Total U.S. population in 2011 was 311.6 million.

9. A Salute to the Union

A salute of one gun for each state in the United States, called a “salute to the union,” is fired on Independence Day at noon by any capable military base.

10. Thank China for Old Glory

87.5% ($2.8 million) of imported U.S. flags are from China.

11. And for Fireworks

97% ($190.7 million) of imported fireworks are from China.

12. Hawkeye Hot Dogs

One of out every four pork hot dog consumed in the U.S. originates from Iowa.

If not Iowa, then likely North Carolina or Minnesota.

An estimated 150 million hot dogs will be consumed on July 4th.

13. Lone Star Beef

One-sixth of all beef production comes from Texas.

If your beef hot dog, steak, or burger didn’t come from Texas, there’s a good chance it originated in Nebraska or Kansas.

14. Sunshine Lettuce or Tomato

75% of all lettuce head production comes from California while 71% of all fresh tomatoes come from California or Florida.

15.Pass the Potato Salad and Chips

You guessed it.. approximately half of the nation’s spuds are produced in Idaho or Washington.

16. Some Baked Beans Please

36% of the nation’s dry, edible beans are produced in North Dakota (the most in any state).

17.  The Liberty Bell Tap

Every 4th of July the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is tapped (not actually rung) thirteen times in honor of the original thirteen colonies.

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(Sources:  U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Army History, Junto Society, U.S.History.org, Wikipedia – Declaration of Independence, Wikipedia – Independence Day, Wikipedia – Wild Turkey)

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I wish your family a safe and joyous holiday!

-Brent

Which July 4th fact is your favorite? How do you celebrate the holiday?

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About the Author

Brent Peterson, PMP, MS, MBA, is the founder of Interview Angel Inc, a company that offers a comprehensive guide and toolkit for job seekers to use in interviews.

Brent’s first customer was a father who purchased Interview Angel as a graduation gift for his daughter.  Since then, clients have included government workforce centers, university programs, and Goodwill Industries.  The product has also been used as an affordable outplacement solution for businesses going through layoffs.

The full Interview Angel toolkit is shipped nationwide. A digital version (editable pdf format) is also available for immediate download worldwide.

Stay connected with Brent via LinkedIn, subscription to this Interview Angel professional blog, and through his personal blog on faith and living.

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