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July 4th Facts You Didn’t Know (Or Forgot About)

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – In honor of Independence Day, we’ve got a couple of “Fourth Facts” you probably didn’t know about.

We all don our favorite red, white and blue garb to celebrate our country’s independence. But there are a few details about the holiday you didn’t learn in your history books, or maybe you simply forgot them!

Here’s a crash course in 4th of July facts.

  • The colonies officially declared independence on July 2nd, 1776, not the 4th. The Second Continental Congress approved the motion for independence on the second, and Congress approved the actual Declaration on the 4th. But few, if any of the Declaration’s signatories actually signed the document on that day.
  • Thomas Jefferson changed the wording of the Declaration of Independence from “the pursuit of property” to “the pursuit of happiness.”
  • Only two men signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776 — John Hancock and Charles Thompson.
  • Congress declared July 4th as an official holiday in 1870 as part of a bill to officially recognize other holidays, Christmas being one of them.
  • Three U.S. presidents have died on Independence Day. While it’s a time for celebration in our country, Thomas Jefferson (1826), John Adams (1826) and James Monroe (1831) all died on that day. Coincidentally, Jefferson and Adams died on the same day in 1826, the 50th anniversary of Independence Day.
  • Conversely, America’s 30th President, Calvin Coolidge, was born on July 4, 1872.
  • Now to the flags and fireworks. Even though this is the quintessential American holiday, your fireworks and American flag were probably made in China. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Americans imported $4 million worth of American flags from other countries annually and nearly a quarter of a billion dollars worth of fireworks from China in 2014.
  • Americans eat more than 150 million hot dogs every Fourth of July! In fact, July is considered “National Hot Dog Month.”
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