5 Little Known Facts About the 4th of July

You probably know that today is Independence Day- a day to celebrate our independence as a nation and July 4th was chosen for this because it is the day that the Declaration of Independence was published in 1776.

But did you also know that both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams- two of the originators of the document, died on July 4th within 5 years of one another? Additionally, James Monroe died on this day in 1831.

Other weird facts about the 4th of July:

Though the Liberty Bell is certainly one of the most iconic symbols of the 4th of July, it has not actually been rung since it cracked in 1846. Instead, every year, the bell is tapped 13 times, and after this, bells across the nation begin to ring in celebration of the day.

It was late coming out the gate, though: the first time it was rang to announce the Declaration of Independence was actually on July 8 in 1776, not July 4th.

The familiar tune Yankee Doodle, that so many believe to be a very patriotic song- was actually originally meant to mock the American patriots. British military officers were singing it before the Revolution even began.

Though legend has it that Betsy Ross designed the original flag, credit for the new flag design went to a high school student by the name of Robert Heft in 1960. He was originally supposed to design a new national banner that would include both Alaska and Hawaii. His grade on the project, a B-, didn’t make him happy- so he sent the flag to President Eisenhower. The President did choose his design and Robert’s grade was changed to an A, but also, his flag became our national banner.

As your residents enjoy their 4th of July celebrations, here are a few other things to keep in mind so that they stay safe:

The CPSC, or Consumer Product Safety commission states that on average, about 240 people go to the ER with fireworks related injuries during this holiday time. More than that, 1,000 children, under the age of 5 are also injured during this time. Roughly 2,600 injuries reported involve bottle rockets or sparklers- because these seem to be the “safest” for kids to play with.

Help your residents to have a fun, but safe holiday by following these tips:

  • Never allow children to play with fireworks without adequate adult supervision. This is especially true with things like sparklers and bottle rockets. Most people don’t realize that sparklers actually burn at temperatures of around 1,000-1,500 degrees. This is anywhere to up to about 5 times hotter than your oven is when you cook with it. Glow sticks are a much safer option for younger kids.
  • Do not try to relight fireworks “duds”.
  • Do not point or throw fireworks at other people. Yeah, tell Uncle Bob that roman candle fight’s probably not going to end well.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a hose at the ready in case Uncle Bob does it anyway. Or, you know, if any dry grasses or other objects catch fire.
  • Make sure it’s okay with your local laws to even have the fireworks in the first place. Several states have outlawed them, including: Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

About the author

Kurt Kroeck

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