Excited for this weekend’s barbecue party?
While many of you are already planning on what to do and what to eat for the upcoming 4th of July festivities, how much do you actually know about the history of Independence Day?
Now before you show off your barbecue skills, eat too many hot dogs, get decked out in blue, red, and white, or post a billion photos on your social media pages, it’s time to amp up your knowledge on the country’s most awaited federal holiday.
July 4, 1776
- July 4, 1776 was the day that the Declaration of Independence was formally adopted by the Continental Congress. But it wasn’t signed by most signatories until August on that same year.
- Congress started designating federal holidays on June 18, 1870. But the city of Massachusetts was the first to acknowledge the Fourth of July as an official holiday on July 3, 1781, which makes them the first city in the country to do so.
- Even before the government recognized the Fourth of July as a federal holiday, the town of Bristol, Rhode Island had already been celebrating since 1785. This was considered America’s oldest Fourth of July Celebration.
- It has always been a tradition to eat salmon in New England on Independence Day. Salmon was abundant in the rivers throughout the region during summer, so it was perfectly suitable to have salmon while celebrating the 4th of July. From then on, it became a staple in New England and has been that way ever since.
- There are about 15,000 fireworks displays during the event. Though firework prices vary from town to town, small towns spend anywhere between $8,000 -15,000 and larger cities can spend up to millions. No wonder a lot of people look forward to the grand fireworks displays before the celebration ends.
- Hot dogs have become an important part of the occasion and there’s an insane amount of 150 million hot dogs being consumed on this day! The said amount can stretch from Washington DC to Los Angeles more than five times.
So there you have it — a few tidbits about the history of the 4th of July. Here’s hoping you’ll toss back a few drinks, watch the fireworks display, eat some good food, and enjoy the company of your friends and family. Stay safe out there!