This column is linked from the goodhousekeeping.com website and the story is linked HERE
It’s not that we’re strangers to the Fourth — everyone knows it’s the day Americans celebrate our independence with food, fun and fireworks. But even though America has had quite a few birthdays (239 to be exact), there are still some things about the holiday that you might find surprising.
1. John Adams refused to celebrate.
According to him, America’s liberation should have been celebrated on July 2, when Congress voted to approve the Declaration of Independence. He even wrote to his wife about it: “The second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival.” Sorry, John.
2. Several presidents died on July 4th.
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, who both signed the Declaration, died within hours of each other on the 50th anniversary of Independence Day. If that isn’t eerie enough, James Monroe also died on the same day five years later.
3. America isn’t the only country that observes it.
Denmark parties hard on the Fourth of July (they celebrate since thousands of Danes emigrated to the U.S. in 1912), and Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush have even been keynote speakers at the celebration.
4. We basically devour all of our favorite foods on the Fourth.
We’re talking 155 million hot dogs, $107 million spent on popsicles, and $167 millionspent on watermelon. Plus, Independence Day is the biggest holiday for beer sales, topping Labor Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day and Christmas.
5. This year, New York City has competition for the biggest fireworks display.
Macy’s fireworks in the Big Apple is typically America’s largest — but this year, Nashville is eyeing the prize. “It is not an exact science, but we got a rough idea of how many shells New York had so we told our supplier to make sure he had more shells than New York this year,” Butch Spyridon, CEO of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp., toldUSA Today. We suppose friendly competition is an American tradition, after all.
6. There’s an official “Fourth of July City.”
Seriously, in 1979 an act of Congress dubbed Seward, Nebraska, “America’s Official Fourth of July City-Small Town USA.” Even though only 6,000 people live there, over 40,000 come to the town’s celebration — which is largely run by high school students.
7. In Bristol, Rhode Island, they literally paint the town red, white, and blue.
This patriotic place starts celebrating all things America on Flag Day, June 14th, and end on July 4th with a parade — and they’ve been doing it since 1785, making it the oldest continuous celebration in the country
8. And in Tennesseee, they stay up late.
Or start early, depending how you look at it. In the Smoky Mountains, Gatlinberg hostsThe Midnight Parade, which kicks off at exactly 12:00 a.m. to launch its Fourth festivities.