4th of July 2012: Fact and Myths about Independence Day
Emily Sutherlin | June 29, 2012 at 07:54 pmby
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Facts and myths about independence day.
There are a lot of a unknown facts about 4th of July that can make great conversation at an 4th of July cook out.
Facts about Independence Day
- Three notable presidents have died on July 4th. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on the same day, July 4th, 1826 -- exactly 50 years after America's independence. James Monroe died five years later.
- One out of four Americans don't know the country from which we won our independence. In a 2010 Marist poll, only 74 percent said England/Great Britain. 20 percent were unsure and six percent named other countries. And even though I know posting this tired stereotype will draw the hate... wouldn't you be willing to bet a lot of the 26 percent are the ones who love the anti-King George 2nd Amendment and keep an arsenal of guns in the house?
- It's the biggest beer-selling holiday of the year. The top five, in order, are Labor Day, Memorial Day, Father's Day and Christmas. I love that Father's Day is on there.
- The Declaration of Independence, signed in 1776, was meant to justify a revolt against the British, with a list of charges against the British king.
- The Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 men representing the 13 colonies. The moment marked the beginning of all-out war against the British.
- Several countries used the Declaration of Independence as a beacon in their own struggles for freedom. Among them, France. Then later, Greece, Poland, Russia and many countries in South America.
- "Yankee Doodle," one of many patriotic songs in the United States, was originally sung prior to the Revolution by British military officers who mocked the unorganized and buckskin-wearing “Yankees” with whom they fought during the French and Indian War.
- The "Star Spangled Banner" wasn't written until Francis Scott Key wrote a poem stemming from observations in 1814, when the British relentlessly attacked Baltimore's Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. It was later put to music, though not decreed the official national anthem of the United States until 1931.
- In 1776, about 2.5 million people lived in the newly independent United States, according to the U.S. Censure Bureau. In 2011, 311.7 million Americans will celebrate Independence Day.
- On July 6, 1776, the Pennsylvania Evening Post became the first newspaper to print the now-historic Declaration of Independence.
Myths about Independence Day
- The Declaration of Independence Was Signed on July 4. Independence Day is celebrated two days too late. The Second Continental Congress voted for a Declaration of Independence on July 2, prompting John Adams to write his wife, "I am apt to believe that [July 2, 1776], will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival."
- Paul Revere Rode Solo. Patriot Paul Revere really did hit the road on the night of April 18, 1775, to alert the countryside that British troops were on the move. But the image of an inspired, lone rider isn't accurate. Revere was part of a low-tech—but highly effective—early-warning system.
- July 4, 1776, Party Cracked the Liberty Bell. U.S. independence surely prompted a party, but joyful patriots didn't ring the Liberty Bell until it cracked on July 4, 1776. In fact the State House Bell likely didn't ring at all that day. As for the crack, the bell had been poorly cast and cracked soon after its arrival in 1752. The bell was subsequently recast, and recracked, several times but was intact during the Revolutionary War.
- Betsy Ross Sewed the First Flag. So who sewed the first flag? No one knows. But we do know who designed it. It was Frances Hopkinson. Records show that in May 1780 he sent a bill to the Board of Admiralty for designing the"flag of the United States."
- Native Americans Sided With the British. "(He) has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions." The Declaration of Independence made this claim against King George III, and many Native Americans did eventually fight with the British, but many others sided with people in the colonies or simply tried to stay out of the European conflict altogether,
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