On the 4th of July we joyously celebrate the birthday of our nation. Many of us enjoy hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, fireworks, parades, family picnics, concerts, the long weekend and warm weather. It is thought of as the main summer holiday where we appreciate our country, pay respect to those who served and those who still protect us, and we fly our flags.
After years of war with England, in 1776, the colonies succeeded in their effort to separate from Great Britain and declared independence. Without the events of July 4th, there would be no America. Sometimes we get so lost in the festivities of this fun-filled holiday that we forget to think about its meaningful origins. How much do we actually remember from our history lessons?
Facts About the 4th of July
- When – On July 4th, 1776, Congress approved the Declaration of Independence.
- Author – Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence.
- Coincidence – Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on July 4th, 1826.
- Signed by – Representatives from the 13 colonies from the Continental Congress.
- A popular phrase coined – “Put your John Hancock on it”. Hancock was 1 of 56 men to actually sign the declaration.
- First official 4th of July party – 1777 in Philadelphia
- First newspaper to print the Declaration – The Pennsylvania Evening Post
- Celebratory food in 1776 – Turtle soup, poached salmon, and green peas
- Statue of Liberty – Symbolizes America’s Independence and freedom to all that enter. The statue was given to us by France in 1886.
- Ben Franklin wanted – The turkey to be the national bird, not the bald eagle
- First parade – Boats on the Potomac River, not street parades
- Longest-running parade – Since 1785 in Bristol, Rhode Island
- Capitol moved – In 1790 from Philadelphia to Washington, DC
- Became a paid federal holiday – In 1938
- Most patriotic state – Pennslyvania with 11 places with the word ‘liberty’ and 33 places with the word ‘union’
- Ringing of the Liberty Bell – Not since 1846 due to fear of the 2,000 pound bell cracking. It is tapped 13 times to commence the ringing of bells across the country.
- Special celebrations – Since 1972, annual hot dog eating contest in Coney Island
– Since 1973, Boston Pops Orchestra Fireworks Performance
- 4th of July decorations – Everything from balloons, streamers, desserts to clothing in the colors of our flag – red, white and blue.
4th of July History
4th of July celebrations were very popular in the early 1900’s and enthusiasm seemed to grow after each war reaching a peak amid the patriotic fervor that rose as World War II drew to a victorious close. Enthusiasm waned though in the 1950’s and celebrations became more family or church oriented gatherings. 4th of July celebrations continued to become less popular and reached their nadir in the years surrounding the divisive Vietnam conflict.
The Bi-Centennial and the renovation of the Statue of Liberty sparked a rebirth of the patriot spirit of America, and 4th of July celebrations now bring American people together in a way unlike any other holiday. For me, it has a very personal meaning as I gave birth to my daughter and business partner on the 4th of July. Throughout her early childhood, we told her that the fireworks, parades, and parties were all for her. Sometimes I think she may still believe it!
We hope you enjoy your 4th of July festivities and the long weekend. Sport your patriotic spirit and put some sparkle in your red, white and blue jubilee with some fabulous jewelry from our summer collection.
You can search by necklace name from our 2017 collection: Petra, Fiesta, Amity, Blue Lace, Sirene, Tanya & Remy.
How will You celebrate?
Love the history in this post, Roslyn. Especially turtle soup as a celebratory food. Also that Ben Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird, not the bald eagle. Great research and tidbits that probably few Americans stop to question. Seems most of our holidays are about “celebrating” without necessarily the original meaning behind the holiday being celebrated. Although we celebrate Canada Day on July 1st, I know how big July 4th, Independence Day is in the U.S. And what is a celebration without dressing up and wearing lovely jewelry too!
Thanks, Beverley Golden for your added comments. It is fun to unearth interesting tidbits that even I didn’t know about and share the information. I thought of writing on this topic because I read a comment on FB that many no longer remembered why we celebrated July 4th.
We celebrated by spending time with family and reflecting on our definitions of freedom.
Sharise Hemby, what a nice way to celebrate by reflecting on freedom.
Great history lesson Roslyn. Though the 4th of July is a holiday unique to America even here in Australia a lot of people know about it. Interesting timeline on the way it has been celebrated over the years and what has prompted it to become popular once more. Thanks for sharing with us. Cheers, Ian.
Thanks, Ian Campbell. I do have readers in Canada, Australia and other countries, and I’m happy to throw in some historical posts.
Lots of history and tradition here, Roz. These fun facts brought back lots of happy memories.
Thanks, Deb Nelson for your comment. Glad to refresh memories as we continue making new ones.
Very insightful information! Thank you for the history facts.
Christi, thanks for your comment. Glad you enjoyed the facts.
Growing up, the 4th of July was always a great time. There was a village parade (which I got to march in as a member of the Camp Fire Girls) followed by the village picnic where we grilled hot dogs and hamburgers. Then came the games, the 3-legged race, the potato sack race and others. Followed by going down to the harbor in the evening to watch the fireworks over the water. It was kind of idyllic. Oh, BTW, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on 7/4/1826, not 1886.
Firstly, thanks, Carol Rundle for catching my date error ( it was a slip of my finger)- immediately corrected in blog. And I love all the memories you talked about. I’m sure many can relate to them.
Great article! I’m so glad we don’t celebrate with turtle soup today. I much prefer burgers, hot dogs and ice cream! It is so important to remember our heritage and those who laid the foundation for our freedoms. Thanks for the reminders!
You are welcome & thanks Susan Tolles for your comment. Welcome to my blog.
It’s interesting as I read this again to see how foreign a lot of the United States history is to us here in Canada. Although we are highly influenced by the U.S., we have our own unique history and ways of celebrating. The correlation does occur that both our major holidays that celebrate our founding, is in July. Ours is July 1st and yours July 4th. Thanks for the great history lesson and tidbits to add to my knowledge base. It seems that the 4th is a HUGE celebration for Americans from what I read. Seems people come together and celebrate with family and friends like we do here. Love that the impetus for the post was someone’s comment on FB. I do believe many people have forgotten why they celebrate the 4th. Thanks for taking that up and reminding them, Roslyn.
Appreciate your second read. As you know, people all over the world love holidays, days off from work and opportunities to party. Most do it with food, some add drink and what makes July 4th unique are the flags waving, parades in large & small towns. Despite people forgetting the actual facts & history of the 4th, I do believe these activities reminds them in some ways.
Loved the interesting facts. Thanks Roslyn.
Appreciate you reading the blog.
Independance day represents such a great story. Our rag tag non-professional Army beat the most professional Army in the world at that time. The signers of the Declaration of Independance fully expected to be hung upon loosing to the British. The odds were that we would lose. Yet here we are, still independent.
Good to see you here Eyauuk and appreciate your perspective. Proof that you never know who will win.
All these little tidbits were fun to read. Amazing celebratory dinner menu: Turtle soup, poached salmon, and green peas. Sometimes I think we should have the turkey as our national bird but not usually. My hubby and I had a nice quiet celebration with a lovely steak dinner. We didn’t see fireworks but the next night we could see a private display from our deck. Odd timing.
Beth Niebuhr, its fun to find these facts, gather into a blog that can relate to our audience and our product. Sounds like a nice evening. Some years our neighborhood had fireworks several nights as people received company.
Good stuff. I even learned a couple of things. I had a good time on the 4th with my kids. 🙂
Lisa Mason, Sounds like a good timecwith your family, which is how holiday celebrations create memories.
What fun facts Roslyn!! For jewelry I wore a turtle necklace I purchased while on vacation in St Marteen made of Larimar; I just love it. And we spent the day sailing!
Lisa Swanson, So pleased to hear you wore a necklace. I have one made of Larimar and the color is such a cool shade of blue. Sounds like you had a wonderful day.
Love it! We avoided the larger crowds (half a million people at one of our Dallas area fireworks!) but definitely made it out to a smaller park. My kids love it since we’re a former military family. All wore red or blue. My eldest wore her flag-adorned Converse shoes. We really get into it. I’m bookmarking your page for next year’s 4th tweetables ????
Tanya Smith, welcome to our blog and so glad we provided you with tweetable’s. Might do the same myself next year. Sounds like your family really knows how to celebrate this holiday.
Being a Canadian, I love history from other countries. Thank you for sharing!
Welcome to our blog. Thanks Gisele Grenier. I sprinkle a historical based blog in every now and then.
July 4 marks the milestone for the importance of the US history. It illustrates a growing challenge with independence. It is an affirmation of the principles as we as values of life and equality among US citizens. Thanks, Roslyn, for your great efforts in gathering important information about July 4. This post is very useful. It serves as a reminder to those who are not aware of it.
Thank you, Lorii Abela for appreciating the blog, the history and the importance of the holiday.
I love these fun facts posts, Roslyn! And, I now know that I live in “The Most Patriotic State” — PA! How fun!
How fun was that Roz… the celebratory food was turtle soup, poached salmon and green peas…. ick, thankfully that changed! LOL Another interesting fact was that Franklin wanted the bird to be the turkey… could you image how that symbolized freedom… and terms like soaring with the eagles wouldn’t be the same, or turkeys (who get slaughtered every Thanksgiving I might add) and the irony that the bald eagle isn’t a dime a dozen like a turkey… totally different meaning, deeper too… interesting. Thanks!
So glad you liked it Kristen Wilson. Yes, things would be very different had it gone other ways.
Neat collection of facts about the 4th! I am surprised at how long it took for the 4th to be declared a federal holiday. Thanks for sharing this info!
Vickie Maris, Sometimes a fact doesn’t stand out until placed in a particular order. Glad you liked the blog.
I am one of those weird people that actually likes history but I don’t think I had ever heard before that Jefferson and Adams died the same day.
And beautiful jewelry as always highlighted 🙂
I love how you rope in such interesting history with your jewelery, Roz.
And then weaving in ideas for summer.
Hmmm…wonder if you might run a contest asking people for their best seasonal ideas?
Thanks, Sharon for your astute observation. It takes some creativity to weave jewelry into a weekly topic.
Roslyn, I can just imagine what our country would be like if the turkey was our national bird. I guess we wouldn’t be able to eat them anymore because they would be sacred. The eagle certainly turned out to be the right choice!
Sherri Frost, welcome to my blog. If turkey had become the national bird, we be overrun by turkey farms, maybe even become pets. Things do have a reason for working out.
Very interesting 4th July facts though I’m glad turtle soup’s no longer on today’s menu! I am not an American but my partner is. Although we are in a long distant relationship, I did enjoy getting the virtual celebration updates with his family and friends.
When I was around 10 years of age in the UK, we had to do a school project on countries around the world. I was given the U.S and therein started my love affair with this great country. Though I’ve visited several times, I have never actually experienced Independence Day. It is definitely on my bucket list along with the Grand Canyon, Alaska, the Blue Ridge Mountains and a thousand other stops I’ll be making along the way! And speaking of stops, I’d have to be blind not to stop and admire your beautiful jewellery collection, so perfect for the season. I was immediately drawn to ‘Whimsicals’ and I think this alluring aqua would look great against my dark skin.
Thank you for wooing us with your stunning jewellery once again Roslyn.
Michelle Williams, so glad you were assigned to study the US in 4th grade. I hope your partner is from NY so I can meet you next time you come here. I am meeting Beverley at an airport stopover in a few weeks. It will take me 3 hours but the time we get together will be priceless.
We did celebrate – had the family over for a barbecue. We are not fans of the do-it-yourself fireworks as California is in a serious drought, but that didn’t stop our neighborhood from sounding like a war zone. We could see some of the big shows from our backyard which was nice.
Lori-Ann- sometimes neighbors shows are more than just fine.We never do our own.
I stayed home and enjoyed time with family, which I can rarely do. We ate good food and saw some awesome firework displays: next year I want to go on a helicopter flight and see multiple shows simultaneously! 🙂
Liz Benoit Cozby, you are a hoot. Next year- climb a mountain or a giant hill or top of a tall building if you can’t get the helicoptor.
Great facts! September 11th was definitely the worst time. Living so close to the World Trade Center, my family experienced it first hand. Luckily my Dad and sister made it home. So many friends did not.
Welcome to my blog Dina Nazario. Glad your family made it home safely on 9/11 horrendous tragedy. Seems we all lost people, those we knew and those we didn’t.
What fun facts about the 4th of July!! Thanks for sharing 🙂
You are welcome, Joan Harrington
Love the history facts. You would be surprised by those who do know.
Welcome to my blog, Janell Mcilwain, I discovered that many people enjoy the occasional history, especially if it includes lesser known facts.
We stayed home and had a pretty quiet weekend; grilled some burgers and jalapeno poppers on our new grill…Watched some Netflix… and enjoyed just quiet time at home 🙂
Interesting Independence Day – some of these things I knew, but there were quite a few I didn’t!!
Coach Natalie Palombi, sounds like you had a wonderful time at home. Glad you acquired a bit more info about the 4th.
I love history! So this was a good read for me, however I didn’t celebrate July 4 as I live in Canada and July 1 was our national holiday.
Varina, thanks for reading and commenting on my blog. Hope you had a great Happy Canada Day July 1st.
Interesting facts. Pretty cool to read. You’re right everyone gets so caught up in the fireworks, bbq’s etc that it’s often forgotten what the holiday really is about. Funny to see in the facts what the celebratory food was at the first celebration and what it is now.
Thanks, Michael Kawula for your comment and understanding why I wrote this piece.
It’s always fun to look back at our history and think about the traditions we follow and from whence they come.
It is, isn’t it. Thanks, Coach Niquenya.
After reading your blog, I learned more about July 4th. Thank you so much for sharing and I like the idea of adding casual jewelry to a casual day!
Thanks, Kaz for your comment & welcome to our blog.
I “celebrated” the 4th being sick. Woo-hoo. I don’t even remember the day, let alone what I was wearing. But I usually try to find some red, white and blue to get me into the holiday spirit.
I remember you were really sick with a sinus infection. Glad that is behind you Jackie Harder. And of course you would get into the spirit with color.
Thanks Roslyn, for this interesting article with historical info about your independence day. Some of it I knew already and some of I did not.
You are welcome Katarina. As someone who lives outside the USA, glad I could give you some new & fun facts about my country.
Thank you for this post – my husband and father are history buffs and I’m sure they didn’t know some of these tidbits. Our fourth of July was spent with friends, cooking out and watching fireworks (the guy who lives next door to our friend is trained and certified in fireworks – so we get the whole professional show with a front row seat!).
Thanks, Tamara MacDuff, so glad you like the history info. Sounds like you had a nice holiday.
So much fun to read about the history behind the 4th of July celebrations Roz. Interesting Thomas Jefferson died on that date and wonderful your talented daughter was born on it – she must have loved all the fireworks just for her. 🙂
Thanks, Tamuria for your comment. So often we lose the historical meaning of a holiday, it was a good refresher for us all. Beth still loves the holiday and all the celebrations.
Great post. I love the Luna necklace and earrings. So pretty. We have been so busy so we are relaxing this 4th of July. We are in the Philadelphia and there are lots of events the entire weekend. Thanks for sharing the facts.
You are welcome Sabrina Quairoli. I imagine Philadelphia is as fun a place to celebrate the holiday as New York City. So much history in Philadelphia. Enjoy the down time.
OH yea… I knew you would do something fun and festive for the holiday…. so awesome. Love learning new things. Besides, love Luna too! So pretty!
Thanks Kristen for your comment and compliment. Enjoy the holiday.
That’s American History 4th of July 101, Roslyn! I’ve finally understood the John Hancock phrase. My studies on North American history at University finished just at the start of the American Revolution because it was a compulsory subject about Foundations of New World History and at school the history curriculum focused on Indian history – right from Mohenjo Daro to present day and World History. This post is a blessing.
PS. I loved Palancar.
Vatsala Shukla, researching the facts for this post was a great refresher for me as well. I enjoyed mixing in fun info with relevant. Glad you enjoyed it. I can see you in Palancar.
Though I was never at the longest-running parade in Bristol, RI, I was privileged to attend a charming July 4th parade in Point Judith, RI. It was real small-town American, with people pulling kids in wagons and just a whole rag-tag motley crew of local characters and dignitaries. Such a treat for someone like me who comes from the small town of NYC. Maybe not as glamorous and spectacular as the Macy’s fireworks, but so charming and memorable in its own way.
Reba Linker, I can relate as I did enjoy many small town parades and celebrations when I visited family in New Jersey. We did go into NYC a few times for an ideal spot but now we are content to watch the Macy’s fireworks on TV. Have a wonderful weekend.
Great facts you’ve compiled, Roslyn. I learned (or remembered) a thing or two. Thanks! Have a fun weekend.
I think, Sue Kearney it is a great refresher for us all. And it never hurts to know some fun trivia. Enjoy the holiday weekend.
Love all these facts! And as Beverley said, just loved the part about the turtle soup.
And love the Luna set!
Thanks, Susan Mary Malone for your comment and compliment. I thought the turtle soup fact might resonate with a few readers and Luna become a favorite. Have a great weekend.
Roz – thanks for the fun facts! I’ve softened wondered if Thomas Jefferson and the rest KNEW what they were doing – the enormity of it all. Or were they more like young boys in a tree-house-fort drafting rules because it seemed appropriate – hoping beyond hope that it would somehow work out?
Thanks, Joan Poter for your witty thought. Wouldn’t we have liked being a fly on the wall throughout many parts of our history?
Although we celebrate the birth of Canada on July 1st, I have never researched the history, as the July 4th holiday in the U.S. seems to always trump ours. I really resonated with your daughter believing that the fireworks and celebrations might be just for her on her birthday, as we have a similar story with our daughter, not related to a birthday though. I’m curious how your daughter views and enjoys her birthday now as an adult. Is it fun or does she feel like the holiday supersedes her birthday? So many interesting facts about the 4th of July in this post and it is wonderful to know that it has such deep meaning and brings Americans together. May you all enjoy it in the spirit it was intended…with celebration and with the inclusiveness of community!
Until I became friends with Canadians online, I didn’t know July 1 was Canada Day. Perhaps you should write a fact blog to inform your readers. I do believe the meaning of all holidays gets dimmed by the celebrations, time off from work and so on.
We don’t celebrate it as much as in the past but enjoy Beth’s birthday and the concluding fireworks, whether seen from a rooftop or on TV.
Lovely to read all your info about the 4th July. Its always been a day to celebrate for me here in OZ because its my birthday ~ Blessing Pauline
Welcome to our blog Pauline and thank you for your comment. Enjoy your birthday in the land of Oz.
How fun! Is turtle soup made with turtle? Hmm. I will pass on that for the celebration delights but loved the history lessons along the way. Thanks darling…
I prefer today’s healthy foods for celebrations too, Teresa. Glad you liked the history lesson. Enjoy the holiday.
When I was a child, my parents celebrated “Children’s Day” on July 4th… My sister and I were allowed to pick anything we wanted the family to do, and we could stay up as late as we wanted! For a long time we thought the fireworks were for all us kids, too! Love all the history you shared! Thanks!
Kimberly, your parents had a great idea. I hope you are continuing it with your children. Glad you liked the history refresher. Enjoy the holiday.
How fun! I’m still chuckling over the notion of the turkey being our national bird. Thank heavens that didn’t happen! I’m not a crowd person and don’t care for fireworks so I tend to avoid “celebrating” the 4th, but I do value the luxury of a long weekend whatever the excuse. 🙂
I so relate Marquita Herald to your way of celebrating. We did many years with our family. Enjoy the long weekend.
Thanks for the facts and Happy Independence Day! I hope everyone will be celebrating in style no matter where in the world you live. Freedom is a wonderful thing.
Thanks for your lovely thought Rachel Lavern. I do think we are appreciative of our freedom, especially on this holiday. Enjoy.
It is always fun to learn about how certain holidays came to be 🙂 As I had already commented before, I wanted to again and just tell you that I really enjoyed reading (again) as July 4th is one of my favorite holidays !! Thanks for sharing all of these great facts and interesting tibits 🙂
Thanks Joan Harrington for taking the time to read it again. You never know when these facts will come in handy. Enjoy the weekend.
Happy 4th, Ros. We are doing low key this year. Watching the fireworks in our neighborhood. I think one of my favorite things about homeschooling is I got to learn a lot about the history of our country. Thanks for writing about it because it is so important that we don’t forget where we came from.
Thanks, Karen Grosz for your comment. One of the things I enjoy about lifestyle blogging is my history refreshers. We are having a low-key day too and will watch fireworks on tv.
Thanks for all the history tibits Roz. It’s so important to be reminded of the reasons behind our celebration of July 4th independence.
I have to agree with you Joyce Hansen, especially in today’s world.
I want that red coral necklace. Just sayin…
I’ll pray for you, Jackie Harder