What does Independence Day represent in the USA? We all know it’s a national holiday to commemorate America’s Declaration of its Independence from England as a colony. That declaration established America as a separate, free and distinct country. You can be assured that July 4th is not a holiday in England, that’s for sure.
The disturbing aspect of this holiday is that 25% of middle school kids have no idea of its meaning. They know very little about how government works, and what part a citizen can play in the overall operation of the government. Whether this presents a major problem in the country remains to be seen.
All that aside, we hope to educate you with some little-known facts about July 4th that you might use at an Independence Day party to impress.
Births and Deaths to Mark the Occasion
Sometimes it’s a bit eerie how a particular date can keep reappearing in history. In this case, the significance of July 4th shows that it’s not only for celebrations but also for more somber events.
When you consider that 3 American Presidents died on that date, it would be coincidental enough to ensure all following presidents took particular care on July 4th.
- Thomas Jefferson signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776. The real coincidence occurred when Jefferson died on July 4th 1826.
- The 30th President of America, Calvin Coolidge, was born on July 4th 1872.
- Two other US Presidents died on July 4th – John Adams and James Monroe
- The oldest Independence Day parade has been happening at Bristol on Rhode Island. They have been marching and drumming for 232 years.
- Fireworks became part of the July 4th celebrations from 1777. They represent the birth of a new nation.
- July 4th is not great for animals as 150 million hot dogs will be eaten and few hundred thousand turkeys will be gobbled at dinner.
- It took the White House a few years to get into the party mood, and they did not celebrate July the 4th with a party until 1801, 25 years after independence!
July the 4th is not restricted to the USA for celebrating Independence Day.
Both the Philippines and Rwanda also celebrate July 4th. In the Philippines it’s called Republic Day. In Rwanda it’s called Liberation Day.
The trade wars between China and the USA had better stop before July 4th.
- 88% of all American Flags are imported from China.
- Even worse is that 97.8% of all the fireworks used in July 4th celebrations are also imported from China.
The National Anthem
A country’s anthem brings an emotional and patriotic tear to a citizen’s eye, With hands on hearts and heads held high, the Star Spangled Banner is a stirring national tune.
- The Star Spangled Banner was written by Francis Scott Key in 1814
- It was not decreed as the US National anthem until more than a 100 years later in 1931.
It’s natural that a country grows, either through the birth rate or immigration. The USA embraced and supported immigrants coming from Italy, Ireland, and Greece. This grew to encourage Asian immigration, although Chinese had been in the country for a couple of centuries already.
- In 1776 the population of the United States was about 2.5 million.
- In 2017 it was around 350 million.
It’s a Holiday
Dates of significance in the history of a country are usually made public holidays. Although the Declaration of Independence was as important a day as one could imagine in the USA, it took over 100 years of celebrating that day to make it an official holiday.
- Congress declared July 4th as an official holiday in 1870 as part of a bill to officially recognize other holidays, Christmas being one of them.