Everybody’s favorite summer holiday is coming up. A time to be festive and patriotic while enjoying delicious grilled food and wonderful weather.  It’s easy to see why people love the 4th of July so much. Here’s a little background information about Independence day that’ll spark conversation while around the grill or s’more fire.
July 4th wasn’t a federal holiday until 1941, but that doesn’t mean people weren’t celebrating the U.S.A. before then. As early as the American Revolution citizens were showing their red white and blue pride.
Why July 4th? On July 2, 1776 the Continental Congress voted for independence. Two days later the Declaration of Independence was adopted. John Adams insisted July 2nd was the true day of independence and wouldn’t attend celebrations held on July 4th. Ironically both Adams and Thomas Jefferson passed away on July 4, 1826 – which was the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence!
Early celebrations were very similar to the ones we have now. People had concerts, bonfires, parades and the firing of cannons. Philadelphia held the first annual celebration of independence on July 4th. But Massachusetts was the first state to make July 4th an official holiday.
On the first 4th of July there were an estimated 2.5 million citizens in America. This 4th it’s closer to 311.7 million people. That’s a lot of hamburgers and potato salad!
$193.7 million is the value of fireworks imported into America. While fireworks are a July 4th staple, safety should always come first. Go to: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/012.html to learn about the proper use of fireworks.
Funny fact: Ben Franklin wanted the turkey to be America’s national bird. The eagle is a bit more dignified.
Americans do love to eat and today over 150 million hot dogs will be eaten. More than 74 million citizens will be starting up the grill today. Will you be one of them???