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Quirky facts about July 4th

Many people have backyard BBQs on Independence Day.
Many people have backyard BBQs on Independence Day.
Photo by Charley Gallay

Now that the 4th of July is right around the corner, many people have Independence Day on their minds. Although the initial Independence Day occurred during a brutal war and the original fireworks the result of a heated battle between the United States and England, today the holiday is strongly associated with leisurely activities like barbequing, sunbathing, visiting the beach or pool and watching firework displays.

July 4th is the day that Americans celebrate the nation's independence.
Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

It is estimated that the 4th of July is one of the most popular holidays for parties and get-togethers. Interestingly, even though the occasion has been marked since the 1770s, the first 4th of July party at the White House was not held until 1801. Although it took several decades for Americans to actually party on this event, the past few generations have made an art out of celebrating America’s freedom.

Independence Day is one of the busiest holidays as per road travel so it is very common to see traffic jams on this date. It is also a notoriously busy day for beaches that tend to put extra lifeguards on duty and make sure that concession stands are extra stocked. Certain areas and events like the Boston Harborfest and Coney Island’s Hot Dog Eating Contest are hotspots of activity during the 4th and New York City puts on an enormous firework display that is watched live by millions and televised both nationwide and globally (especially through YouTube uploads).

Considering the grand scale of the 4th of July within the fabric of American culture, below are some quirky facts about Independence Day as we celebrate it today:

• The 4th of July is the most popular holiday for barbequing. In one poll over 71% of respondents intended to serve BBQ on July 4th.

• Be careful on July 4th, hospitals report that it is the holiday that produces the most alcohol-related car accidents and firework-related injuries.

• 99% of fireworks are imported to the USA from China. This is fitting since the Chinese actually invented fireworks way back in 200 B.C.!

• It is estimated that Americans eat about 155 million hotdogs every year on Independence Day alone! Thus, it is suitable that July has been named “National Hotdog Month.”

Happy Independence Day!