Fifteen Fun Facts About the Fourth of July

Happy Fourth of July

Enjoying hot dogs, drinks, and fireworks are what make July 4th feel like Independence Day. But how much do you really know about your summer holiday? We’re giving you fifteen fun facts about America’s defining holiday, so you can repeat them to friends and family all weekend long.


Here are 15 fun facts about the Fourth of July:


1. The average age of the Declaration of Independence signers was 45 years

Courtesy IMDb
  • Edward Rutledge and Thomas Lynch Jr. were the youngest signees at 26 and 27 respectively.

  • Benjamin Franklin was the oldest signee at 70. 


2. In 1776, the population of America was around 2.5 million

  • An official national census was not completed until 1790, resulting in a count of 3,929,214.

  • The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that there were only about 2.5 million people living in America in 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was signed.

  • As of 2021, it has grown to become home to 331.9 million people. 

  • Extra fun fact: In the 1700s, the total population of Earth was less than 1 billion, today it holds more than 8 billion


3. George Washington celebrated the July 4th holiday by giving his soldiers a double ration of rum

Courtesy the Met Museum


4. Americans will buy $1 billion worth of fireworks

Courtesy The Wisconsin Dells


5. Americans will buy 150 million hot dogs during the 4th

Courtesy ESPN
  • According to the National Sausage and Hot Dog Council (NHDSC), Americans are expected to eat 150 million hot dogs over the July 4th holiday.

  • The hot dogs could stretch from D.C. to Los Angeles.

  • This is part of an estimated 7 billion that are expected to be eaten during the summer season from Memorial Day to Labor Day.


 6. John Hancock was the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence

Courtesy The Constitutional
  • No one has a more recognizable signature than John Hancock.

  • John signed his name so large, his name became apart of a household phrase.

  • Hancock was serving as president of the Second Continental Congress during 1776.


7. There is something written on the back of the Declaration of Independence

Courtesy National Archives
  • Somebody stop Nicolas Cage. It isn’t a treasure map.

  • A simple message is written upside-down across the bottom of the signed document that reads, “Original Declaration of Independence dated 4th July 1776.”

  • No one knows who wrote this or when, but it was believed to have been added as a label during the years of the Revolutionary War when parchment was frequently rolled up for transport.


8. Fireworks = an American tradition dating back to 1777 

Courtesy Gettysburg Flag Works
  • Fireworks date back as a tradition of Independence Day as early as the first anniversary in 1777. 

  • John Adams wrote in a letter to his wife, Abigail, that he wanted Independence Day to be celebrated with pomp, parade, shows, and “Illuminations.”


9. A little late to the parade

  • July 4th was not deemed a federal holiday until 1870, nearly 100 years after the nation was founded.


10. The designer of the 50-star flag lived in Lancaster, Ohio

Courtesy Guideposts
  • In 1958, a history teacher assigned a class assignment to redesign the national flag as both Alaska and Hawaii neared statehood.  who was 16 at the time, designed a new flag using the old 48-star flag and $2.87 worth of blue cloth and white iron-on material.

  • His design earned him a B-minus to which he challenged by sending it to Washington D.C. to be considered by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. According to his obituary, Heft was one of thousands to submit a flag design but he was the only person who actually stitched together a flag and shipped it to D.C.

  • Once the flag was selected, Heft’s grade was rightfully changed to an A. His design became the official flag in 1960. 


11. One signer of the Declaration later recanted his signature

Courtesy Wall Builders
  • Richard Stockton, a lawyer from New Jersey, became the only signer of the Declaration of Independence to recant his support of the revolution after being captured by the British in November 1776 and thrown in jail.

  • After years of abusive treatment, and his recanting of loyalties, Stockton was released to find all of his property destroyed or stolen by the British. 

  • His library, one of the finest in the colonies, was burned to the ground.


12. Bristol, Rhode, Island hosted the first 4th of July parade in 1785

Courtesy Taylor Research Group


13. Calvin Coolidge is the only president born on the 4th of July

  • Coolidge served as governor of Massachusetts and vice president before being elected president in 1923.


14. The Continental Congress voted for independence on July 2, 1776

Courtesy NPR
  • Despite John Adams wanting the holiday to be celebrated on July 2, that’s not the day we celebrate our nation’s independence.

  • We celebrate on July 4th since it was the day the Declaration of Independence was formally adopted.


15. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826



If you do anything for America this year, tell somebody one of these facts. And eat a hot dog.


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