We’ve all learned about the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War, but July 4 itself has a pretty interesting 240-year history.
Here’s some fascinating facts you probably didn’t know about the famous holiday
.Only two people actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4: John Hancock and Charles Thomson, secretary of Congress. Most of the others signed on August 2.
Not everyone was on board with celebrating on July 4, the day Congress approved the Declaration. John Adams wanted to celebrate on July 2, the day Congress voted for independence.
One US president, Calvin Coolidge, was born on July 4. So were Nathaniel Hawthorne, Neil Simon, George Steinbrenner, and Malia Obama.
Three US presidents have died on July 4 — John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe. In a bizarre twist of fate, Adams and Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826, the fiftieth anniversary of the country they helped found.
On July 4, 1778, George Washington ordered a double ration of rum for his soldiers to celebrate the holiday.
July 4 wasn’t deemed a federal holiday until 1870, nearly 100 years after the nation was founded.
Fireworks have been a major part of Fourth of July since the earliest celebrations. In 1884, miners blew up the post office in Swan, Colorado, because it wasn’t supplied with fireworks.
The Philippines gained their own independence from the US on July 4, 1946 by signing the Treaty of Manila.
Other countries — including Denmark, England, Norway, Portugal and Sweden — celebrate the Fourth of July because many of their citizens moved to the US or simply to attract American tourists.
Americans consume around 155 million hot dogs on the Fourth of July each year. They also spend $92 million on chips, $167.5 million on watermelon, and $341.4 million on beer.