Saturday, July 4, 2015

July 4th – Did You Know?

I did Canada Day on Wednesday and wanted to give equal time to July 4th.   I knew lots of people would do blogs on the 4th so I looked for something different and came up with these interesting facts about July 4th. Thanks to DOD News
Did you know?
Unofficially, the United States’ Independence Day is July 2 — when the Second Continental Congress made the unanimous decision to break from England. However, the actual Declaration of Independence wasn’t approved and adopted until July 4, when the Liberty Bell was rung in Philadelphia. The document also didn’t become official until Aug. 2, 1776, when most congressional delegates finally signed it.
It’s often thought that July 4 kicked off the fight for independence, but the Revolutionary War actually began more than a year before that on April 19, 1775, when the first shots were fired at Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts. That was one day after the legendary ride of Paul Revere.

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson — both signers of the Declaration of Independence who later became president — died on July 4, 1826, within hours of each other.
On July 4, 1776, there were an estimated 2.5 million people living in America. On July 4, 2014, there were about 318.4 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Census Bureau stats also show that $203.6 million worth of fireworks — a huge part of Independence Day celebrations — were imported to the U.S. from China in 2013. That same year, $4 million worth of American flags were imported; $3.9 million of them came from China.
The first anniversary drew fireworks, a 13-shot cannon salute and spontaneous jubilee in Philadelphia, but it wasn’t until the War of 1812 that observing Independence Day became common.  Back then, the day was often used to coincide with large public events, such as the groundbreaking of the Erie Canal in 1817 and the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in 1828.

Americans eventually began celebrating the Fourth of July with parades, flag-waving and fireworks — all things that Adams would have likely approved. According to a celebration letter he wrote to his wife on July 3, 1776, Independence Day “ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade … bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.”

By the 1870s, July 4 was one of America’s most celebrated holidays. On June 28, 1870, Congress passed a law making it an unpaid federal holiday. It took 64 more years for it to become a paid one.

Fanfare aside, the Fourth of July is very important. On that day 239 years ago, 56 patriots pledged their lives and honor to defend America’s rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — a sentiment our current troops still live by.  As we celebrate our nation’s birth, remember to honor the men and women who fight for those liberties, and strive to be worthy of their huge sacrifices.

And now you know.

Happy 4th of July everyone! 

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