The 4th of July is celebrated differently all around the country. Some people shoot fireworks off themselves; others go to carnivals, fairs, concerts, and baseball games. How do you celebrate? We want to delve deeper into the history of the 4th of July and find out why we celebrate it the way we do. We’ll get your toughest questions answered!
Why do we shoot off fireworks on the 4th of July?
“The bombs bursting in air.” That is a phrase from the Star Spangled Banner, which was written in 1814. Before that, the 4th was mostly celebrated with parades and ceremonies. For the first official Fourth of July in 1777, the citizens of Philadelphia sat and watched along the shores as warships fired a 13-gun salute in honor of the original 13 states.
*Fireworks got their name during the first official Fourth of July in 1777, before that they were called rockets. Why the change? The word ‘Fireworks’ is more about how it looks up in the sky.
How do others celebrate the 4th of July?
Most celebrate with the usual parades, BBQ’s, picnics, and a fireworks display to sum up the evening. However, some African Americans celebrate Juneteenth instead, June 19th, which was when, in 1865, the news that slaves had been freed reached Galveston. Native American tribes sometimes celebrate with pow wows and feasts to respect their ancestors. Dedicated women’s groups use this day to point out that “All men are equal” does not include the women of the nation. In Maine, July 3rd is like a second April Fool’s day!
When was the first Independence Day Parade?
When you think of the word parade do you think of a celebration of cars and floats passing by on the street? Well, the first Independence Day Parade was on the Potomac River in Washington D.C. Spectators watched as President John Quincy Adams waved from the steamboat leading the show.
Why do we celebrate the 4th with picnics and BBQ’s?
In 1777 there were a lot of grand banquets to celebrate Independence Day. Other towns saw this and then followed the tradition. Because of the growing popularity, the celebrations moved outdoors to accommodate the large throngs of people.
And, now for some "Fun Facts about the Fourth!"
- The Fourth of July was traditionally the most miserable day of the year for horses, tormented by all the noise and by the boys and girls who threw firecrackers at them.
- The 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence did not sign at the same time. The official event occurred on August 2, 1776, when 50 men signed it.
- In 1941, Congress declared 4th of July a federal legal holiday.
- The stars on the original American flag were in a circle so all the Colonies would appear equal.
- Benjamin Franklin proposed the turkey as the national bird but was overruled by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who wanted the bald eagle.
- The song "Yankee Doodle" was sung originally by British officers making fun of backwoods Americans.
- In 1776, there were 2.5 million people living in the new nation. (Today there are about 311 million.
- Over an estimated 150 million hot dogs will be consumed on July 4th. That's roughly one hot dog for every two people in the U.S.
- The national anthem is actually set to the tune of an old English drinking song called To Anacreon in Heaven.
Now to send you off celebrating with a smile...
Q: What did one flag say to the other flag?
A: Nothing, it just waved.
Q: Do they have a 4th of July in England?
A: Yes. That’s how they get from the 3rd to the 5th
From all of your friends at WarmlyYours Radiant, we wish you a very happy and safe Independence Day!
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