In the past, celebrations of the 4th of July weren’t all that different from today. Here are some interesting facts you might not know about this national holiday:
- The Declaration of Independence was read aloud every 4th. You can do the same by clicking here!
- The first 4th of July celebration took place on July 8th.
- Many of the traditional ways to celebrate (military parades, cannon and musketry volleys, the ringing of bells, music, bonfires, fireworks and speech-making), were customary to celebrate the king’s birthday!
- During the summer of 1776, many people held mock funerals for King George III, even going so far as to burn his effigy.
- The equestrian statue of King George III in New York was cut into pieces and smelted into (ironically) bullets.
- The announcement of independence from Great Britain was an act of treason, punishable by death, so the signing of the Declaration by the 56 men was a testament to their bravery and commitment.
- The turkey was almost our national animal, thanks to Benjamin Franklin. Thankfully, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams chose the bald eagle. Whew!
- The stars (representing the colonies) on the flag were arranged in a circle, so as to ensure the equality of all.
This video explains more history of the 4th.
By Platt, S. L. — Photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons