The Fourth of July by the Numbers

alex atkins bookshelf triviaEach year as Americans celebrate their country’s independence on July 4, few realize it is the anniversary of perhaps one of the most remarkable coincidences in history: the death of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams who died a few hours apart on July 4, 1826  — on the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. But there are many other interesting numbers related to the 4th of July:

7-2-76: The day the Continental Congress voted for independence from Great Britain. John Adams imagined how the day should be celebrated. In a letter to his wife, he wrote: “[July 2] will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival; [it should include] Pomp and Parade… Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other.”

7-4-76: The day the Continental Congress officially approved the Declaration of Independence

2.5: Number of years that occurred between the Boston Tea Party and the signing of the Declaration of Independence

13: Number of colonies represented by delegates who signed

56: Number of signers

70: Age of the oldest signer, Benjamin Franklin (70)

26: Age of the youngest signer, Edward Rutledge (26)

8: Number of signers that were born in Great Britain or Ireland

1: Number of signers who recanted, Richard Stockton (while held prisoner by the British)

1781: The year in which Massachusetts became the first state to make the 4th of July a state holiday

1870: Congress declared July 4th a federal holiday

1941: Congress declared July 4th a federal legal (i.e., paid) holiday

66%: Percentage of Americans who display an American flag

63%: Percentage of Americans who attend a fireworks show

26%: Percentage who light their own fireworks

14,000: Number of 4th of July fireworks shows across the country

80%: Percentage of Americans who attend a barbecue or picnic

150 Million: Number of hot dogs consumed on 4th of July

30%: Percentage of hot dogs that come from Iowa

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Read related posts: Jefferson and Adams Die on July 4, 1826
A Republic If You Can Keep It
Is the United States a Democracy or a Republic?

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