1.It’s the Biggest Hot-Dog Holiday of the Year
Americans eat some 20 billion hot dog per year, and 155 million of them are consumed on July 4th alone, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. That’s enough average-sized franks to stretch from L.A. to D.C. five times, with some left over.
2. For Drivers, It’s More Dangerous Than New Year’s Eve
Many people travel on the Fourth, often driving long distances—and without the wariness or extra foresight they might take on famously boozy New Year’s. Between 2004 and 2008, an average of 148 people died in traffic accidents on July 4, more than any other day of the year, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Nearly 41 percent of then were alcohol-related, compared to 31 percent on an average day.
3. Tap, Tap, Tap
Due to concerns about cracking the iconic instrument, the Liberty Bell has not been rung since 1846. Instead, every year, to mark the Fourth of July, the 2,000-pound bell is tapped 13 times to signal for bells across the country to start ringing.
4. America didn’t declare its independence on the Fourth of July
Perhaps the greatest misconception of this American holiday lies in the name and its equally iconic date. The true “Independence Day” depends on your definition of when such an official declaration was indeed truly official. It’s widely believed that America’s first Continental Congress declared their independence from the British monarchy on July 4th, 1776. However, the official vote actually took place two days before and the “Declaration” was published in the newspapers on July 4th.
5. The Fourth of July was originally celebrated with a lot of greenery instead of red, white and blue.
Fourth of July celebrations these days are filled with fireworks, clothes and ornaments covered in red, white and blue. Such colors weren’t widely available for decoration in the shadow of the nation’s birth, especially in the heat of battle during the Revolutionary War. The first few Independence Day celebrations used greenery as decorations instead. They also fired artillery used in battles following the completion of the war for the Fourth of July, but the practice dissipated as the cannons fell apart over time and were slowly replaced with fireworks.
6. It will Generate at Least $190 Million in Beer Sales
The Nielsen Company reported that 24 million cases of beer were sold during the holiday period in 2008 (the most recent date for a report of this size and scale), helping generate $190 billion dollars for the U.S. economy.
7. It’s the Anniversary of Three Presidential Deaths
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were ideological opposites and election rivals, but the two Founding Fathers reconciled late in life—which made their nearly simultaneous deaths on July 4, 1826, all the more meaningful. On the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson uttered his last words, “Is it the fourth yet?” before passing away. Later that same day, Adams also died, but not before saying, “Thomas Jefferson survives,” unaware his dear friend had already passed on. Five years later, on July 4, 1831, James Monroe, the last presidential Founding Father, died as well.
8. It’s Significant in Other Countries, Too
America isn’t the only country to gain its independence on the 4th of July. In the Philippines, the 4th of July actually marks independence from America. The United States was ceded the Philippines in 1898, as part of the treaty that ended the Spanish-American War. Rwanda also celebrates “Liberation Day” on the 4th to commemorate the end of the Rwandan genocide.
9. It Will Cause More Than 1,000 Firework Injuries
American consumers will spend more than $600 million on fireworks this Fourth, according to H&R Block. And they’d do well to use them with caution: Health officials expect more than 1,400 hand injuries are caused by fireworks on Independence Day. Sparklers, which can reach up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit, are the number one cause of injury.
10. The US imports 3.9 million dollars worth of American flags each year from China.