The Fourth of July, or Independence Day, celebrates the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It's a national holiday, celebrated with everything from flag raising ceremonies to backyard barbecues and fireworks. To celebrate our nation's birthday, here are a few fun facts you may not have known about the 4th of July and American history.
What animal did Benjamin Franklin supposedly prefer as the official national bird over the bald eagle?Benjamin Franklin is said to have wanted the wild turkey to be the national bird but was outvoted by both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who chose the bald eagle, a bird of prey native only to North America, as the official bird of the United States of America.
How many hot dogs are consumed, on average, at barbecues on the Fourth? The 4th of July and barbecues go hand-in-hand, so it's probably no surprise that over an estimated 150 million hot dogs are consumed in the United States each Independence Day. Break that down, and that's roughly one hot dog for every two people in the U.S.
What year was the 4th of July first celebrated at the White House?The first recorded 4th of July celebrations were in 1777 on the one-year anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. The first 4th of July party held at the White House, however, wasn't until 1801, when it was held by President Thomas Jefferson.
Why were the stars on the original American flag arranged in a circle?The 13 stars on the American flag were arranged in a circle to represent equality between the original thirteen colonies. Although there were several versions of the early flag, including one with the stars arranged in vertical lines, the "Betsy Ross flag," which depicts the stars in a circle, was the most popular.
When was the 4th of July declared a national holiday?Although the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence has been celebrated since 1777, the 4th of July was not declared a national holiday until 1941. The 4th of July wasn't referred to as Independence Day until 1791.