Fun Fact: Americans Spend Over $1 Billion Dollars on Fireworks Every Year

4th of july trivia
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In the United States, the 4th of July is all about mid-summer fun: Planning an epic barbecue menu, coming up with cool pool party ideas and figuring out the best spots to watch the fireworks. But behind all that fun is a revolutionary fight for independence, and nearly 250 years of rich history and traditions.

Think you know all about it? Put yourself to the test with our list of fun 4th of July facts and trivia. These historical and fun bits of information are also great for sharing at those Independence Day parties — and especially for educating and quizzing kids on their knowledge.

Do you know the first — and the last — battles of the Revolutionary War? How about the number of hot dogs Americans consume each year? Or the amount of money we spend on fireworks? Or why we fold the flag into a triangle? Or that it's technically forbidden to wear an American flag? (True story.) It's all in here!

The first public 4th of July event at the White House took place in 1801.

Thomas Jefferson was president, and, according to the White House Association, the day was filled with music, food and even horse racing.

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Francis Hopkins designed the American flag.

Or, more specifically, he claimed his did, but this claim has not been officially verified with evidence.

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When the Revolutionary War broke out in 1775, few colonists wanted complete independence from Great Britain.

Those who did were viewed as radicals.

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It was Dwight D. Eisenhower who added "under god" to the Pledge of Allegiance.

The change happened in 1954, according to the Reagan Foundation.

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Federal regulations specify that an American flag can only be flown from sunrise to sunset…

unless it is illuminated at night.

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And technically, you're not supposed to wear American flags, either.

The flag code states that "the flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery."

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You can always catch a ball game on the 4th of July.

And this year, all 30 MLB teams will play on Independence Day.

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The population of the U.S. was about 2.5 million in 1776.

Compare that population with about 340 million Americans today.

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The youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence was just 26 years old.

It was Edward Rutledge, who is a Founding Father and former governor of South Carolina.

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Fireworks are a huge business... the tune of about $600 million in fireworks imports to the U.S. each year.

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In the early years of the republic, Independence Day was commemorated with speeches, parades, and other festivities.

These events gave rise to the federal political party system, with formalized venues and occasions for leaders and constituents to discuss issues.

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The Battles of Lexington and Concord were the first of the American Revolution.

These confirmed the majority of the colonists' alienation from England, and set the stage for the colonies' guerilla warfare defense against the British.

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The Seige of Yorktown ended military operations in the American Revolution.

This joint France-America effort trapped a major British army on a peninsula at Yorktown, Virginia, forcing it to surrender.

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The Safe and Sane 4th of July movement came about in the late 19th and early 20th century.

It was a response to the heavy drinking and injuries that had risen along with the holiday traditions.

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Americans spend close to $10 billion on 4th of July food...

...according to WalletHub.

RELATED: Easy 4th of July Recipes Your Family Will Devour

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The Star Spangled Banner became the national anthem in 1931.

President Herbert Hoover signed the congressional resolution making it so.

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About 50 million Americans travel more than 50 miles from home...

...during the holiday weekend, according to WalletHub data from 2023. That's a new record.

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Mark Brodkin Photography - Getty Images

The oldest continuously running 4th of July parade is in Bristol, Rhode Island.

It dates all the way back to 1785, according to the town's site.

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But the longest one is in Alameda, California.

According to the town's website, the route spans 3.3 miles. It takes folks about two hours to complete.

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Americans consume about 150 million hot dogs per year.

...according to data from the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.

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Massachusetts is the most expensive state for a BBQ.

It's the most expensive state to get ingredients to host 10 people, at $127, according to the most recently available data.

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There have been 27 different official versions of the flag.

The last addition was Hawaii's star after it was added in 1959.

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The American flag's traditional triangle fold is meant to evoke a three-cornered hat.

This is the style of hat worn by George Washington and others in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.

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Joseph Sohm; Visions of America - Getty Images

Thomas Jefferson was the main author of the Declaration of Independence.

There were four others on the drafting committee: Roger Sherman, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Robert Livingston.

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George Washington was the commander in chief of the colonial armies in the American Revolution.

Afterward, he became the new country's first president.

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The Treaty of Paris officially ended the American Revolution.

It was signed in France on September 3, 1783, and officially recognized the United States as an independent country.

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Betsy Ross and Paul Revere shared a birthday.

Ross, who is credited with sewing the first American flag, and Revere, who warned Samuel Addams and John Hancock the British were coming, were both born on New Year's Day.

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John Hancock was the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence.

Likely because he was the President of Congress at the time, he signed in a large hand and at the center of the document, according to the National Archives. His bold signature is where we get the phrase "put your John Hancock" when referring to signing your name.

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Independence Day should have been celebrated on July 2, 1776.

Although the document was dated July 4, congress actually voted for independence from Great Britain two days prior on July 2, 1776. It apparently wasn’t signed by everyone until a month later on August 2, 1776.

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John Adams wrote a letter to his wife about how memorable Independence Day would be in American history...

He was obviously right — in his letter, he said the day should be celebrated with parades, bonfires and fireworks. Scarily accurate, right?

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... but he thought it was celebrated on the wrong day.

In fact, he was known to turn down invitations to 4th of July celebrations in protest. In his correspondence to his wife, Abigail Adams, he only referred to Independence Day as July 2nd.

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bauhaus1000, Print Collector

The 'Pennsylvania Evening Post' was the first newspaper to print the Declaration.

It came out in the newspaper on July 6, 1776 for everyone to see, after a local printer named John Dunlap produced copies of the declaration's manuscript.

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An estimated 2.5 million people lived in the nation in July 1776.

As of July 2021, about 331.8 million people live in the U.S., according to the United States Census.

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Three presidents who signed the Declaration of Independence died on July 4.

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826 — on the 50th anniversary of the country's independence. James Monroe died five years later on July 4, 1831.

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The Liberty Bell rings 13 times every Independence Day to honor the 13 original states.

Descendants of people who signed the Declaration of Independence tap the bell, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at 2 p.m. eastern time every 4th of July.

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Independence Day was once celebrated on July 5.

The holiday fell on a Sunday in 1779, so the country celebrated on July 5th instead.

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The very first 4th of July fireworks show took place in Philadelphia in 1777.

Fireworks, canons and bells all went off to honor the 13 original states. Much like modern celebrations, they even had a dinner and parade for the Declaration of Independence's first anniversary.

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U.S. soldiers got a special treat on the 4th of July in 1778.

George Washington helped the troops celebrate by allowing them a double ration of rum, according to Live Science.

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Americans spend over $1 billion on fireworks every year.

According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, the numbers continue to go up every year. The biggest celebration is the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks show, which takes over 8,000 hours to prepare!

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4th of July sales have been a thing for a while.

According to Live Science, it was seen as unpatriotic if you kept your business open on Independence Day before the Civil War. But after, restaurants and stores starting having sales on red, white and blue merchandise and they've continued to ever since.

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There are 33 places in the United States with the word “liberty” in their names.

According to the U.S. Census, four of them are counties — Georgia, Florida, Montana and Texas have a Liberty County.

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Calvin Coolidge was the only president born on the 4th of July.

That probably helped his presidential campaign, right?

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It didn't become a federal holiday until 1870.

It took nearly 100 years for it to be recognized as such, but when it finally happened it was up in the ranks with Christmas and a few other holidays.

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The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were both signed in Philadelphia.

The Constitution was signed in September of 1787, a little over 11 years after the Declaration of Independence. While both are important to U.S. history, they are totally separate documents with different meanings.

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