What better way to kick off the Fourth of July weekend than with a little Independence Day trivia.
Let's take a look at 10 surprising facts, guaranteed to be excellent conversation starters at this weekend's celebratory barbecue.
- The Fourth of July was officially declared a national holiday until 1941.
- Not all members of the Continental Congress were in favor of making the Declaration of Independence official, but those that were were die-hard. Apparently one man rode 80 milesto Philadelphia on horseback to break a tie in support of our nation's freedom.
- Blast! An estimated $211 million has been spent importing fireworks to the U.S. from China.
- There is a 1 in 4 chance that one of the hot dogs or sausages you consume this weekend originated in Iowa.
- There were approximately 2.5 million people living in the United States on July 4, 1776. Today, there's roughly 309.6 million. Just a little bit of an increase, no?
- The first real July 4th party was held at the White House in 1801.
- Technically, Independence Day should be August 2, 1776. That's when a majority of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, 50 of the 56 to be exact, put pen to paper.
- 68.3 million cases of beer are sold on Independence Day around the country.
- Unfortunately, the Fourth of July ranks as the deadliest holiday of the year, and I can't help but wonder if No. 8 has anything to do with it.
- Eleven places in the United States have the word "independence" in their names. The most populous one, with more than 116,000 people) is Independence, Missouri.
Happy July 4th, everyone! Did any of these facts surprise you?
Image via Carissa GoodNCrazy/ Flickr