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Connection Corner

15 fun facts about the Fourth

navy background with illustration of fireworks

Happy birthday, America! On July 4, we recognize America’s Independence Day. Here are a few fun facts to help you and your family celebrate.

  1. The Second Continental Congress voted to declare independence on July 2nd, 1776 – not July 4th. It ratified the text of the Declaration of Independence on the Fourth.
  2. There were 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence.
  3. Most of the signatures weren’t added to the Declaration until August 2nd, 1776.
  4. The youngest signer of the Declaration of independence was Edward Rutledge of South Carolina. He was 26 at the time.
  5. The oldest signer was Ben Franklin of Pennsylvania, who was 70.
  6. Two signers of the Declaration, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson (both of whom were later President), died on July 4, 1826 - the 50th anniversary of the Declaration.
  7. Independence Day wasn’t made a federal holiday until June 28, 1870.
  8. In 1777, fireworks were set off in Philadelphia to celebrate America’s first birthday. According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, 2021 firework revenues topped $2.5 billion throughout the year, and have doubled since 2019.
  9. As new states are admitted to the union, their representative stars are added to the flag on July 4th.
  10. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the United States, was born on July 4, 1872.
  11. According to the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council, Americans will enjoy 150 million hot dogs on Independence Day. That’s enough to stretch from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. more than 5 times!
  12. Every July 4th, descendants of the original Declaration signers tap on the liberty bell 13 times in recognition of the 13 original colonies.
  13. The first public readings of the Declaration of Independence were held on July 8, 1776 in Philadelphia’s Independence Square, accompanied by bell ringing and band music.
  14. In July of 1776, there were an estimated 2.5 million people living in our newly independent nation. Now, in 2022, there are over 332 million.
  15. This year, 2022, will be America’s 246th birthday.

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Emily Schoenfelder joined the Illinois 4-H team in 2017. Prior to this, she began her work in positive youth development with California 4-H and the YMCA. She specializes in STEM engagement, social-emotional development, and educator professional development.  

She received a Master of Science degree in recreation, park, and tourism administration from Western Illinois University.    

When she is not writing curriculum or facilitating a training, you may find Emily sitting on the floor of her office, building marshmallow catapults out of popsicle sticks or designing mazes for robots for her next STEM program.  


Connection Corner is a blog that provides timely information, activities, and resources to help you stay connected to loved ones, the world around you, and yourself.