Star Spangled Strangeness: 7 Weird 4th of July Facts

We're a weird country people—embrace it.

The United States of America, often called the melting pot, is a country where people from all over the world can seek refuge under the principles of freedom and justice. With a variety of cultures melded into one vast country, things certainly never get boring in the USA. And our Independence Day is no exception.

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Congress actually ruled in favor of independence on July 2

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That's right, Independence Day could technically be July 2, and we all would've been off today too (although maybe some of you are anyways). That being said, while the vote did go through on the 2nd, a few changes were made to the Declaration of Independence before final approval on the 4th. So it's still pretty legit.

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Two founding fathers died on this day

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John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were each a founding father and President of the United States. And they both died on July 4th. John Adams, the second POTUS, died on July 4th, 1826. Thomas Jefferson, the third POTUS, died on the exact same day. 

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And so did the 5th President of the United States

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The July 4th death day may have skipped our fourth President of the United States (by less than a week), but James Monroe, the fifth POTUS, died on this day as well! He passed on July 4, 1831 at the age of 73. His two terms as president were often referred to as the Era of Good Feelings. Not a bad legacy to have at all!

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All-American birthdays on this day include...

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  • Malia Obama, former President Obama's oldest daughter.
  • Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the United States.
  • Pam Shriver, US Olympic gold medalist.
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne, classic American writer.
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Will you be eating this all-American food this holiday?

If you want some extra hot dog fun on the 4th and are in the NYC area, Coney Island has a pretty epic Nathan's hot dog eating contest, where the masters show you how the real hot dog eating is done. More »

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China provides most of our best celebratory goods

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"In 2011 a total value of $3.6 million consisted of imports of American flags. $3.3 million, or nearly 92% of this amount came from China." – Courtney Taylor, Statistics Expert

Apparently 97% ($190.7 million) of imported fireworks are from China as well.

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The oldest continuous 4th of July celebration is in Rhode Island

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That's right. Of all the possible places, Bristol, Rhode Island takes home the prize.

"Bristol calls itself “the most patriotic town in America,” with good reason. This Rhode Island town boasts the nation’s oldest continuous Fourth of July celebration. Bristol is about half way between Providence and Newport, R. I., and is 65 miles from Boston. The town’s first Independence Day festivities took place in 1785. Today, Bristol’s two-day celebration includes concerts, a parade, a Drum and Bugle Corps International competition and, of course, fireworks." – Nancy Parode, Senior Travel Expert

Can you guess when the words "under God" were added to the Pledge of Allegiance?