It’s time to show off your independence! And your patriotic knowledge about the Declaration of Independence, fireworks and hot dogs. Let’s hear it for more pomp and less circumstance!
Which notable statesman told his wife that July 2nd was going to be the biggest U.S. holiday ever?
The leader of the American Revolution, John Adams, mistakenly thought that July 2nd was going to be the official Independence Day, but in reality that was simply the day the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence from Great Britain. The Declaration of Independence was formally adopted on July 4th. Rumor has it that Mr. Adams would turn down invitations to July 4th parties in protest.
What year did July 4th become a paid holiday for federal employees?
July 4th officially became a federal holiday in 1870, but it took more than 70 years for the U.S. government to grant their federal employees a paid day off. Maybe the 1870 paperwork got lost in processing.
What unusual way did revelers celebrate the birth of independence during the summer of 1776?
burning British flags
holding mock funerals for King George III
The very first Independence Day celebrations often included a fake funeral for King George III to signify the end of the British monarchy’s hold on the United States. Do you think that’s how deviled eggs became a popular funeral food AND a favorite Fourth of July picnic food? Hmmm.
What is the section of the Declaration of Independence that mentions “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" called?
If you remember your elementary school days, you will recall having to memorize the Declaration of Independence preamble. The word preamble is just a fancy way of saying introduction, but this preamble is worth learning again so you can impress your pals at your Fourth of July party. Don’t forget to wear a powdered wig.
Which town hosts the oldest Fourth of July celebration in the United States?
Bristol, Rhode Island
The town of Bristol, R.I., has held their annual parade and celebration every year since 1785. Since they are pros at Independence Day parties, they go all out with an elegant Fourth of July ball, drum and bugle corps competition, concert series and a parade.
Name the July 4th beach celebration that honors all-American, farm-raised clams?
In Cedar Key, Fla., the Fourth of July celebration takes a fishy twist with a party that is all about clams -- and is aptly name Clamerica. So, if you are a real Clamerican, head down south to for a steamy good time.
Which patriotic song was originally created to mock American soldiers?
“Yankee Doodle Dandy”
“Yankee Doodle Dandy” was made up by British soldiers to make fun of Americans. They joked that Americans thought they could put a feather in their coonskin cap and be as fancy as English royalty. The American boys turned the tables and adopted the song as their own to show pride in their country -- and they eventually won independence from Great Britain. Who’s laughing now?
Uncle Sam was a meat packer who supplied barrels of beef to the U.S. Army during the War of 1812. He stamped the barrels with a U.S. for United States, but the Army boys joked that it stood for Uncle Sam. Eventually this became a nickname for the U.S. government.
“The Star-Spangled Banner” was written by Frances Scott Key, and was recognized for official use by the Navy in 1889. But it wasn’t until 1931 that it became the national anthem, thanks to a resolution by Congress.
What food is consumed at one of the most popular eating contests in America on July 4th?
Nathan’s Famous hosts the July 4th International Hot Dog Eating Contest every year at its flagship store in Coney Island, N.Y. More than 40,000 fans come to watch this spectacular eating event -- it’s even broadcast on ESPN. Now that’s an all-American celebration!