Thinking of the Fourth of July conjures images of barbecues, parades, and fireworks. The birth of an independent nation.
However, did you know that the Second of July was the real Independence Day? On July 2, 1774, America’s Congress ruled in favor of independence. However, it took Congress two days to fully accept Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence. Congress made several changes first, including cutting the Declaration by one-fourth and discarding all language regarding slavery to appease delegates from South Carolina and Georgia.
More than that, Independence Day didn’t become a national holiday until 1870! Americans had been celebrating the Fourth of July since 1777, but it wasn’t until Congress passed a bill in 1870 recognizing significant state holidays as federal holidays that Independence Day was officially recognized. And then, the Fourth of July didn’t become a paid federal holiday until 1938.
But now as an official, paid federal holiday, Americans surge outdoors to watch parades and barbecue hamburgers and hot dogs. So many hot dogs are consumed on the Fourth of July that Independence Day is the “biggest hot-dog holiday of the year.” About 155 millions hot dogs are eaten on July Fourth. That’s a lot of hot dogs!
So, whatever your plans are today, whether it’s eating hot dogs at a parade, running around the backyard with sparklers, or waiting for your nation’s independence day holiday, enjoy today.
What’s your favorite thing to do on Independence Day?
(Photo courtesy of Julie Falk.)