The Fourth of July is rapidly approaching, so now is a great time to involve kids in this all-important national holiday. To open up a dialog about our nation’s birthday, here are some fun facts about the Fourth of July and a bit of trivia to get the conversation started, plus patriotic places around the United States.
Fourth of July Trivia:
Test your knowledge of the Fourth of July with these trivia facts from History.com.
- The Continental Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.
- The Declaration of Independence made the 13 colonies an independent and sovereign nation.
- The Fourth of July was not declared a national holiday until 1941.
- John Hancock was the only person to actually sign the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The other 55 signers did not sign it until August 2 or even later.
- When the United States became a country, there were approximately 2.5 million people living in the country. Today the population is around 311 million.
- Bristol, Rhode Island has the oldest, continuous Fourth of July celebration dating back to 1785.
- Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national animal but was outvoted when John Adams and Thomas Jefferson chose the bald eagle.
- The first Fourth of July party held at the White House was in 1801.
- The stars on the original American flag were in a circle so that all the Colonies would appear equal.
- 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 Liberty Bell was rung not on July 4, 1776, but on July 8, 1776, to celebrate the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence.
Fourth of July Fun Facts:
While Fourth of July trivia might be too dull to captivate kids for a long stretch of time, surprise them with these fun facts from Factmonster.com:
- Malia Obama was born on the Fourth of July.
- Approximately 150 million hot dogs are consumed on the Fourth of July.
- The percentage of American homes with an outdoor grill is 87 percent.
- British officers originally sand the song “Yankee Doodle” to make fun of backwoods Americans.
- The amount of chicken purchased the week before the Fourth of July is 700 million pounds.
- Fireworks are believed to have developed out of military rockets. In the European Middle Ages, the military pressed fireworks experts into service to conduct celebrations of victory and peace.
- The U.S. imported $3.6 million worth of American flags last year, with $3.3 million worth of those flags coming from China.
Patriotic Towns, Cities and Places:
What could be more all-American than watching Fourth of July fireworks in a town called Independence? Below are some patriotic towns, cities and places, as compiled by the United States Census Bureau.
- Eleven places have “independence” in their name. The most populous of these is Independence, Mo., with 111,023 residents.
- Five places adopted the name “freedom.” Freedom, Calif., with 6,000 residents, has the largest population among these.
- There is one place named “patriot” – Patriot, Ind., with a population of 195.
- Thirty-two places are named “eagle” – after the majestic bird that serves as our national symbol. The most populous such place is Eagle Pass, Texas, with 24,847 residents. There is also Eagle County, Colo., with a population of 47,530.
- There are five places in the country with “America” in their names, with the most populous being American Fork, Utah, with a population 22,387.
To really celebrate the Fourth of July with a bang, load up the kids and head out to one of Atlanta’s better displays. The biggest occur on July 4 at Stone Mountain Park, Lenox Square, Centennial Olympic Park and Lake Lanier. If you have to go to work on July 5, check out the fireworks on July 3 in Downtown Norcross, Sugar Hill, or Cumming. All feature family-friendly activities and a Fourth of July fireworks show on Tuesday, July 3, 2012.
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