Fun Facts with Hamilton: 4th of July Edition

Ahh . . . the 4th of July. America’s favorite holiday!

It’s a day we celebrate freedom! A time to commemorate the moment in our history when we declared that  “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  Ever since that day in 1776, America has been known for cherishing, preserving, and offering freedom.

So, in light of the coming holiday, here are your newest Fun Facts with Hamilton

  1. “The Fourth” Happened on the 2nd

Contrary to popular belief, America became a nation on July 2nd, 1776 –not July 4th. On July 2nd, Congress voted in favor of declaring independence. Two days later, on July 4th, the Declaration of Independence was officially adopted.  And, although it was read publicly on July 8th in Philadelphia, most signers didn’t sign the document until months later.

  1. Adams Called It

John Adams was always perturbed Independence Day wasn’t celebrated on July 2nd, which he believed was America’s rightful birthday. However, in a letter to his wife, Adams did say independence would be celebrated through history with, “Pomp, Parade, with [shows] Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations [fireworks] from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forevermore.” We’d say he nailed that one!

  1. Designed by a High School Student

In 1958, when Alaska and Hawaii were brought into statehood, a new flag had to be designed. Robert G. Heft, a high schooler in Lancaster, Ohio, designed the 50-star flag for a school project. His teacher gave him a B but promised that he would give him a higher grade if Congress selected Robert’s flag. The flag was chosen out of thousands of entries, and Robert received an A!

  1. True Frenemies

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams had one of the most unique and dynamic friendships in American history. Their friendship saw extreme highs and deep lows. Politically, they were opposite –often rivals. Yet, their shared love for America and their mutual respect for one another saw them united at the end. They were the only two signers to become  U.S. Presidents, and they died just hours apart on July 4th, 1826.

  1. Let the Bell Ring

The Liberty Bell used to go by the simple name, the State House Bell. Perhaps it was one of the bells rung during the July 8th reading of the Declaration.  However, it wasn’t until the 1830s, when abolitionists began using it as a symbol of the anti-slavery movement, that it became known as the Liberty Bell. Every 4th of July, descendants of the original signers tap the Liberty Bell thirteen times in honor of the thirteen colonies. Unfortunately, a deep crack in the side of this national treasure prohibits the bell from being rung.

  1. Statistically Speaking

It wouldn’t be Fun Facts with Hamilton if we didn’t throw in some crazy numerical stats –

  • In 1776, only 2.5 million people lived in the U.S. Today, there are an estimated 328 million.
  • Every year, Americans spend over 1 billion dollars on fireworks. But only 10% of all firework shows are done by professionals, which might explain the estimated 12,900 firework-related E.R. visits during the summer.
  • Typically, America consumes 150 million hotdogs on the 4th of July – enough hotdogs to link from D.C. to L.A. 5 times!

Here at Hamilton Connections, we want to wish you a safe and happy 4th of July! Let freedom ring!