Americana: Some Fun July 4th Facts
Did you know the following facts?
• The Fourth of July was not declared a national holiday until 1941.
• Malia Obama, George Steinbrenner, Neil Simon, Ron Kovic and Calvin Coolidge were all born on the Fourth of July.
• These events occurred on the Fourth of July: Henry David Thoreau moved into his shack on Walden Pond (1845); the U.S. air offensive against Nazi, Germany, began (1942); Beach Boys' "I Get Around" reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts (1964); Lyndon Johnson signed the Freedom of Information Act (1966).
• The stars on the original American flag were in a circle so all the Colonies would appear equal.
• Benjamin Franklin proposed the turkey as the national bird but was overruled by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who wanted the bald eagle.
• The musical "1776" premiered on Broadway in 1969 and ran for 1,217 performances. The production won three Tony Awards, including one for best musical.
• The number of Americans who will spend the holiday at other people's homes is approximately 41 million.
• The first official Fourth of July party was held at the White House in 1801.
• Approximately 150 million hot dogs are consumed on this day.
• The town of Patriot, Ind., has a population of 202 people.
• Presidents John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe all died on the Fourth. Adams and Jefferson died on the same day within hours of each other in 1826.
• The percentage of American homes with an outdoor grill is 87 percent.
• The song "Yankee Doodle" was sung originally by British officers making fun of backwoods Americans.
• The amount of chicken purchased the week before the holiday is 700 million pounds.
• The Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 men from 13 colonies.
• In 1776, there were 2.5 million people living in the new nation. (Today there are 311 million.)
• There are more than 30 towns nationwide that have the word "Liberty" in their names.