Cheers to the Red White and BlueHappy 4th of July! To celebrate the birthday of our beautiful country, we’ve put together a list of 15 little-known 4th of July fun facts. So gather ’round the barbecue grill and show off your patriotic pride by sharing this Independence Day trivia with your cookout guests!

  1. There were approximately 2.5 million people living in America when it became an independent nation in 1776.
  2. On July 4, 2013, there will be about 316.2 million people living in the United States.
  3. Fifty-six men signed the Declaration of Independence. The document was written by Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston. Jefferson wrote most of it since he was considered the most talented writer of the group.
  4. John Hancock was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence. Because the space which he signed on the document was completely blank, his signature turned out to be the largest. That’s how the modern term “John Hancock” was coined in reference to someone’s signature.
  5. Benjamin Franklin originally wanted the turkey to be the official bird of the United States of America, but he was outvoted by Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, who chose the bald eagle as the national bird.
  6. The 4th of July was not officially declared a national holiday until 1941, even though the signing of the Declaration of Independence had been celebrated since 1777. July 4th also wasn’t known as “Independence Day” until 1791.
  7. Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence: July 4, 1826. James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States, also died on the 4th of July, but in 1831.
  8. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president of the United States, was the only president to be born on the 4th of July.
  9. On the original American flag, the 13 stars were arranged in a circle as a symbol of the equality between the 13 colonies.
  10. The first 4th of July party was officially celebrated at the White House in 1801.
  11. Today, Americans eat about 150 million hot dogs on the 4th of July.
  12. More than 30 places in the country have the word “liberty” in their official town names.
  13. In 2012, approximately $3.8 million worth of American flags were imported to the United States. About $3.6 million worth of these flags were from China.
  14. Approximately $218.2 million worth of fireworks were imported to the U.S. from China in 2012.
  15. According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, on each 4th of July there are more than 14,000 fireworks displays throughout the United States.

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