Fourth of July is coming up soon! USA’s Independence Day comes up this Friday and in its honor, I thought it would be fun to share some interesting facts, courtesy of MSN Encarta. Enjoy!
1. Independence Day commemorates the formal adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. However, it was not declared a legal holiday until 1941.
2. Fireworks were made in China as early as the 11th century. The Chinese used their pyrotechnic mixtures for war rockets and explosives.
3. Uncle Sam was first popularized during the War of 1812, when the term appeared on supply containers. Believe it or not, the U. S. Congress didn’t adopt him as a national symbol until 1961.
4. There are many precise rules for taking care of the American flag. And speaking of flag traditions, we’re sorry to report that contrary to legend, historical research has failed to confirm that Betsy Ross sewed the first flag.
5. Not all members of the Continental Congress supported a formal Declaration of Independence, but those who did were passionate about it. One representative rode 80 miles by horseback to reach Philadelphia and break a tie in support of independence.
6. The first two versions of the Liberty Bell were defective and had to be melted down and recast. The third version rang every Fourth of July from 1778 to 1835, when, according to tradition, it cracked as it was being tolled for the death of Chief Justice John Marshall.
7. The American national anthem, the “Star-Spangled Banner,” is set to the tune of an English drinking song (“To Anacreon in Heaven”).
9. The patriotic poem “America the Beautiful” was published on July 4, 1895 by Wellesley College professor Katharine Lee Bates.
10. Father of the country and architect of independence George Washington held his first public office at the tender age of 17. He continued in public service until his death in 1799.
I’m going camping with friends this year for the holiday weekend.
What are your 4th of July plans?