This week, we celebrate our Independence. Today (Wednesday) many families will have barbecues, head out to community celebrations and end the day watching fireworks (if the weather allows). Aside from Christmas, I can’t think of a holiday more dedicated to unity and family.
Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.
Last week I wrote about American history, and the importance that we as Americans become more in tune with how we got to where we are today. So, in sticking with that theme, it seemed fitting to do a fact and trivia session centered around the Fourth of July.
No worries, we’ll start with an easy one.
Q: When was Independence Day first celebrated? A: Independence Day was first celebrated in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776.
Q: What was the major objection to being ruled by Britain? A: The major objection to being ruled by Britain was taxation without representation. The colonists had no say in the decisions of English Parliament.
Q: Why did the Liberty Bell sound on July 8, 1776? A: The Liberty Bell sounded from the tower of Independence Hall on July 8, 1776, summoning citizens to gather for the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence by Colonel John Nixon.
Q: Where does the word patriotism come from? A: The word ‘patriotism’ comes from the Latin patria, which means ‘homeland’ or ‘fatherland.
Q: When was the first public Fourth of July event held? A: The first public Fourth of July event at the White House occurred in 1804.
Q: How many peopled signed the Declaration of Independence, and did they do it at the same time? A: The 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence did not sign at the same time, nor did they sign on July 4, 1776. The official event occurred on August 2, 1776, when 50 men signed it.
Q: When was the Fourth of July declared a federal holiday? A: In 1941, Congress declared 4th of July a federal legal holiday. It is one of the few federal holidays that have not been moved to the nearest Friday or Monday.
Thirty places nationwide with “liberty” in their name. Liberty, Missouri boasts the highest population of the 30 at 26,232. Iowa has more of these places than any other state at four: Libertyville, New Liberty, North Liberty and West Liberty.
Eleven places have “independence” in their name. The most populous of these is Independence, Missouri, with 113,288 residents.
Five places adopted the name “freedom.” Freedom, California, with 6,000 residents, has the largest population among these.
There is one place named “patriot” — Patriot, Indiana, with a population of 202.
And what could be more fitting than spending the day in a place called “America”? There are five such places in the country, with the most populous being American Fork, Utah, with 21,941 residents. Check out American Fact Finder.
Fireworks have been one of iconic methods of celebrating Fourth of July. Around $200 million are spent each year to import fireworks from China.
(Editor’s Note: Some of the information listed above was obtained from ask.com, American Fact Finder, and the The U.S. Census Bureau.)