4th of July fun facts you didn’t know

Jessica Evans Avatar
A dad holds a baby at a 4th of July parade
Personnel from the 416th Theater Engineer Command attend the Villa Park 4th of July Parade.

On July 4, Americans celebrate our independence. This is the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. This holiday commemorates the courage of the earliest Americans who fought for freedom from British rule. For some, it’s a day to spend with family and friends, enjoying the summer weather. Others may observe the holiday more traditionally, attending parades or fireworks displays. However you choose to celebrate, July 4 is a day to be proud of our country and commemorate all we have accomplished.

Here are some things you may not have known about this important day in American history:

July 2 or July 4?

The Second Continental Congress voted to declare independence from Great Britain on July 2, 1776. However, it wasn’t until two days later, on July 4, they adopted the Declaration of Independence. That’s why we celebrate on the fourth and not the second. We know this day as a day of reverence and celebration. But that wasn’t always the case. In fact, it took nearly a century for today to be a national holiday. Then, in 1938, Congress officially declared July 4 a paid holiday for federal employees.


Fireworks have long been associated with Independence Day. The first official celebration of Independence Day took place in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776. This event included a 13-gun salute and an appearance by George Washington. On that day, we set off fireworks and have done so ever since. These days, it commemorates our forefathers’ fight for freedom from British rule. It reminds us of all that we, as Americans, stand for. The next time you celebrate with BBQ and fireworks this Fourth of July, take a moment to appreciate all this holiday represents.

On this Fourth of July, let us remember all that we have been through as a nation and all we have yet to achieve. Let us recommit ourselves to the ideals of liberty and justice for all. And let us celebrate the fact that we are – and always will be – the United States of America.

The flag

Of course you know Betsy Ross didn’t sew the version of Old Glory we have today, but did you know that since 1776 we’ve had 27 versions of the flag?

4 Surprising Facts About the American Revolution

John Trumbull‘s painting, Declaration of Independence, depicting the five-man drafting committee of the Declaration of Independence presenting their work to the Congress. The painting can be found on the back of the U.S. $2 bill. The original hangs in the US Capitol rotunda. It does not represent a real ceremony; the characters portrayed were never in the same room at the same time.

Women played a vital role in the American Revolution, both on and off the battlefield. One of the most famous female war heroes was Molly Pitcher, who earned her nickname by bringing water to thirsty soldiers during battle. Another woman named Deborah Sampson disguised herself as a man so she could fight for the Continental Army. She served for over 17 months before being discovered and honorably discharged.

Inventor Benjamin Franklin created many things that we still use today, including bifocals, lightning rods, and an improved version of the heating stove. In 1776, he also came up with the revolutionary (pun intended) idea of creating a unified postal system for all 13 colonies.

The Liberty Bell is one of America’s most iconic symbols. Still, it didn’t get its famous crack until 1835—nearly 60 years after it was the first rung to summon residents of Philadelphia to the reading of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. According to legend, the bell cracked after the death of Chief Justice John Marshall.

Did you know that there were actually three separate declarations of independence issued during the Revolutionary War? In addition to the Declaration of Independence that we know and remember today, there were also declarations issued by both Georgia and Vermont (which were then known as New Hampshire Grants).

In the years since 1776, America has gone through many changes. We have seen wars, natural disasters, economic depressions, and social unrest. But through it all, we have remained a strong and resilient nation. We are a country of immigrants, a melting pot of cultures and talents. We are united by our shared values of freedom and opportunity.