Fourth of July Fun Facts

Get ready to wow your friends and family with these fun facts about the 4th!

When the conversation starts to lag at your celebrations, just pull out a “did you know…” and drop one of these facts. You can thank us later.

  1. John Hancock was the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence, which is why we tell people to “put your John Hancock here” when we want them to sign a document.
  2. John Adams predicted the popularity and merriment the 4th would provide to Americans. He wrote a letter to his wife in which he speculated that the day would be celebrated with “parades, bonfires, and fireworks.”
  3. When the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, an estimated. 2.5 million people lived in the U.S.
  4. Three presidents – John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe – all died on the fourth of July (in 1826, 1826 and 1831, respectively).
  5. The Liberty Bell rings 13 times every Independence Day to honor the 13 original states.
  6. Americans spend over $1 billion on fireworks every year.
  7. Calvin Coolidge was the only president born on the 4th of July.
  8. 7 of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence attended Harvard University.
  9. In 2012, the vast majority of imported U.S. flags ($3.6 million worth) were made in China. (Buy your 100% Made in the USA premium American flag from Rushmore Rose USA today!)
  10. Approximately 150 million hot dogs and 700 million pounds of chicken are consumed on the 4th of July each year.
  11. 1777 was the first time fireworks were used to celebrate the 4th of July.
  12. July 4th wasn’t declared a Federal Holiday until 1870.
  13. The first 4th of July party at the White House was in 1801 when Thomas Jefferson was president.
  14. Rhode Island is home to the country’s oldest 4th of July parade. They first held this celebration in 1785.
  15. President Zachary Taylor died as the result of a 4th of July party. He reportedly contracted food-borne cholera after eating spoiled cherries on July 4, 1850 and died five days later.
  16. The Great Fire of 1866 in Portland, Maine was started by a firecracker at a 4th of July celebration. The fire destroyed 1,800 buildings and left 10,000 people homeless.
  17. Nathan’s annual July 4th hot dog eating contest reportedly began on July 4, 1916, when, according to its site, four recent U.S. immigrants made their own competition at Nathan’s original Coney Island stand.
  18. The famed Macy’s fireworks show in New York City uses more than 75,000 fireworks shells and costs about $6 million.
  19. Every July 4, descendants of the signers of the Declaration of Independence tap the Liberty Bell 13 times in honor of the original 13 colonies.
  20. New York’s One World Trade Center is 1,776 feet tall to mark the year the U.S. declared its independence.