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  9. Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About The Fourth Of July

Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About The Fourth Of July

The Holiday That Screams 'MURICA

Fourth of July fireworks display over the capital in Washington DC


Fireworks. BBQ. Picnics. Nothing quite screams 'Murica like the Fourth of July. While this holiday is one of the most popular in the United States, there's a lot most people don't know about the celebration and its history. Are you a real patriot? Read on to learn the top 10 things most people don't know about the Fourth of July.


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1. Independence from Great Britain wasn't actually declared on July 4, 1776.

Richard Henry Lee who proposed the Lee Resolution to declare American independence from Britain
Richard Henry Lee, who proposed what became known as the Lee Resolution. Painting by Charles Wilson Peale.



It's a pretty common misconception that the Fourth of July celebrates the original Thirteen Colonies declaring their independence from the British Empire. After all, this holiday is officially listed as Independence Day. But the original British North American colonies didn't actually declare independence on July 4, 1776. That took place a little bit earlier, on July 2, 1776, with the Lee Resolution.



2. The Declaration of Independence wasn't even signed until August of 1776.

Engrossed copy of the United States Declaration of Independence


The engrossed (final) version of the Declaration likely wasn't signed in July of 1776 at all. Many historians agree that the signing of the definitive version of this document happened on August 2 of that same year.



3. Only the final wording for the Declaration was approved on July 4, 1776.

Original US Declaration of Independence
Original U.S. Declaration of Independence.



What was agreed upon on July 4 was the final wording of the Declaration.



4. It didn't become a federal holiday for almost 100 years.

A red white and blue candle and sparkler display for the Fourth of July


The United States officially has 10 federal holidays; the Fourth of July is one of them. Congress made that happen on June 28, 1870, nearly a hundred years after the War of Independence and just a few years after the American Civil War.



5. It's one of the most popular U.S. holidays today.

Frozen treats amidst backdrop of red white and blue Fourth of July display


Today, Independence Day is one of the most beloved holidays for U.S. citizens. According to a Gallup poll, up to 78% of Americans participated in the celebrations in some form.



6. Americans spend more than a $1 billion on fireworks for the Fourth of July every year. . .

A person holding a US flag and Fourth of July sparkler


Most people think "fireworks" when they think of this holiday and for good reason: Americans spend over $1 billion on fireworks to really liven up the festivities, according to Fortune.com.



7. . . . but 99% of those fireworks come from China.

Multicolored Fourth of July fireworks display


The U.S. imports many products from China, and Independence Day fireworks are no exception. Approximately 99% of consumer fireworks for the patriotic holiday come from China.



8. Americans spend almost as much on beef as they do on fireworks for their celebrations.

A Fourth of July BBQ display


There just couldn't be a proper Fourth of July picnic without hamburgers. Americans spent roughly $804 million on beef around the Fourth of July in 2016 alone.



9. More pets go missing around this day than any other time of the year.

A brown dog against a dark gray background


Unfortunately, more pets go missing around this time of the year than any other. In fact, the ASPCA estimates that nearly 20% of pets run off from loud noises, fireworks, and thunderstorms. If you have a lovable fur baby in your home, make sure they're in a safe, secure location where they can't run off or get hurt!



10. Only one U.S. president has been born on July 4.

A black and white photo of US President Calvin Coolidge
Calvin Coolidge.



Did you know that Calvin Coolidge is the only U.S. president to be born on July 4? It's true! The 30th President of the United States was born on this day in 1872. Other notable Americans born on this day include Post Malone and Nathaniel Hawthorne.