Of course the 4th of July is about celebrating America and BBQ's, but here are some fun facts that you may not know about our national holiday.

John Adams decided how Americans should celebrate...

According to Wikipedia, John Adams wrote this letter to his wife Abigail:

The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.

We probably should celebrate on July 2nd...

Adams's prediction was off by two days. From the outset, Americans celebrated independence on July 4, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress.

More fun facts:

  • In 1938, Congress changed Independence Day to a paid federal holiday.
  • In 1779, July 4 fell on a Sunday. The holiday was celebrated on Monday, July 5.
  • In 1777, thirteen gunshots were fired in salute, once at morning and once again as evening fell, on July 4 in Bristol, Rhode Island. Philadelphia celebrated the first anniversary in a manner a modern American would find quite familiar: an official dinner for the Continental Congress, toasts, 13-gun salutes, speeches, prayers, music, parades, troop reviews, and fireworks. Ships were decked with red, white, and blue bunting.

And this fact is not so fun....  Here's why NJ is one of three states that has banned fireworks...

It all happened in 1936 - according to NJ.com,

In all, that year in New Jersey, 927 people, most of them children, were injured by fireworks, according to legislative testimony by the state health director that year. The injury totals marked a ten percent increase over the previous year and the highest total in the nation — and it compelled the New Jersey legislature to action.  After the carnage of the Fourth of July in 1936, though, calls grew for a statewide ban.

Geez.  Be careful this holiday weekend!

Happy 4th of July!

Source: Wikipedia