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July 2014
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The Fourth of July: Things You Might Not Know

  • Samuel Adams was not a successful brewer.

He was one of 56 who signed the Declaration of Independence. He struggled with his father’s business as a brewer and merchant, but eventually became governor of Massachusetts. He was the cousin of President John Adams.

  • The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council estimates that Americans purchase 9 billion hot dogs per year. That’s 70 hot dogs per person.


The Declaration of Independence is dated July 4, 1776. Things that didn’t happen on July 4, 1776:

• The Continental Congress voted for independence on July 2, 1776.
• The start of the American Revolution – the first shot was fired on April 19, 1775.
• Paul Revere’s ride – April 18, 1775.
• Thomas Jefferson composed the first draft of the Declaration in June 1776.
• The signing of the Declaration of Independence began on August 2, 1776.
• The Declaration was delivered to Great Britain in November of 1776.
• The United States Constitution was signed on September 17, 1787.


  • John Hancock is suspected of having participated in the Boston Tea Party, after his sloop was impounded by British customs agents in Boston Harbor. He went on to become President of the Continental Congress and was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence.


  • According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, consumers outspend professional presenters on the purchase of fireworks, two to one.


  • In the TV series The Simpsons the Springfield Town Hall bears a striking resemblance to the home Thomas Jefferson designed for himself, Monticello.

The Simpsons Town Hall side-by-side with Jefferson’s Monticello


  • George Washington did not attend college.

Like his half-brothers, the family planned to send George to England for schooling, but his father died when he was only 11. Washington was self-conscious about the omission and became a voracious reader.


  • John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the same day, the Fourth of July, 1826.

John Adams was the first Vice President and the second President. He worked closely with Jefferson to draft the Declaration of Independence. Adams lost to Jefferson in his re-election bid. Jefferson became the 3rd President of the United States. Jefferson and Adams kept a lively correspondence with one another to the end of their days—the 50th anniversary of American independence (called the quinquagenary).


  • Stephen Foster was born on the 4th of July, 1826. That was also the day that Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died.Sousaband


  • John Philip Sousa, the “March King,” had a Portuguese father (born in Spain) and a Bavarian mother. After leaving the marine band, Sousa formed his famous “Sousa Band.” The Sousa Band toured Europe and had its own baseball team.


  • James Wilson, signer of the Declaration of Independence, had financial woes and went to debtors’ prison while serving as an associate justice to the U.S. Supreme Court.



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