Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Niegel
Once again the 4th of July is upon us and I can’t help but smile. It’s my favorite holiday. I know what you’re thinking. How can it be my favorite with so many other well deserving holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving. It’s simple… I love the warm weather, getting together with friends and family, barbecuing your favorite meat and veggies on the grill and sharing good laughs. Additionally, it’s one of the only times of the year you can light off fireworks in most areas without too many people complaining or getting in trouble with the law.
A few years back I got the chance to go to Philadelphia and visit Independence Hall, which is where the Declaration of Independence was signed and also see the Liberty bell in person. While I have always had a soft spot in my heart the 4th, visiting those historic landmarks of our short history has only increased my appreciation for what our forefathers and ancestors went through in the name of independence and freedom. As I have matured over the years I have realized that this holiday is much more than a party or a good time with friends and family; It is a celebration of what so many before have died for and what so many currently still fight for… Freedom and Independence.
So in honor of my favorite holiday (and hopefully one of yours too), I have put together some interesting facts about the 4th of July just for you.
- Some people believe we should celebrate Independence Day on July 2nd which was the day Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence.
- Contrary to what some believe, the Liberty Bell rang for the first time to mark the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 8, 1776, and not on July 4th.
- Three presidents have died on July 4th. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died only hours apart in 1826 and James Monroe in 1831.
- In 1777, Congress authorized fireworks as part of the 4th celebration.
- Congress made Independence Day a federal legal holiday in 1941.
- In the U.S., over 14,000 fireworks displays happen across the country.
So, when you’re enjoying that burger with your best friend or watching one of the thousands of firework shows across this great country take a moment to remember where why we celebrate Independence Day.
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