The Fourth of July is one of the most-recognized American holidays. Americans joyously blast fireworks and eat prodigious amounts of grilled foods. How much do you know about Independence Day?
The Fourth of July celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, which was signed July 4, 1776. In the Declaration, America thumbed its nose at Britain and declared itself a new country.
The Fourth is the biggest hot dog day of the year in America. By some estimates, Americans will chomp more than 150 million hot dogs on this day alone.
The Fourth of July is also known as Independence Day. Whatever you call it, it involves copious amounts of hot dogs and explosives.
It took nearly 100 years (1870) for the government to even officially recognize the celebration. That's some serious bureaucracy for you. It was even longer before it became a paid holiday.
Colonists marked the big day by having public readings of the Declaration of Independence. Yet it wasn't until years later that the Revolution was actually won.
New Englanders would spend most of the Fourth constructing large wooden pyramids. Then, that night, they'd set the whole thing on fire as a big celebratory bonfire.
The Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of American independence. But officials stopping ringing it in 1846 due to fractures in the metal. Instead, they gently tap it 13 times.
Each year, the Macy's Fourth of July fireworks display is one of the biggest in the country. As many as three million people see the spectacle in person, and many times that number watch on TV.
There are roughly 9,000 serious injuries across the country each year due to fireworks. On average, about 4 of those people die.
In an ironic turn of events, the famous Liberty Bell was made in Britain. This explains the cracked bell's shoddy workmanship.
Dragging its feet as always, Congress didn't declare the Fourth of July a paid federal holiday until 1938. Now, of course, the Fourth is a holiday for nearly everyone.
The British sang the words of "Yankee Doodle" to mock the perceived ineptitude (and stupidity) of American colonists in the years before the Revolution. Eventually, of course, the Americans took the insult as a point of pride.
Adams famously wanted Independence Day to be on July 2. It was simply because that's the day that the Founding Fathers actually voted for independence from Britain.
In a strange bit of irony, Adams died on July 4. He lived to the age of 90 and died on the 50th anniversary of the nation he helped to create. Even weirder? Thomas Jefferson died the same day.
Adams was famously upset about the fact that the holiday wasn't being celebrated on the "right" day. So he refused to celebrate on the Fourth … for the rest of his life.
Believe it or not, a man named Joey Chestnut downed 73 full hot dogs in 10 minutes. He performed his stomach-shattering act in 2016.
At many military bases, the "salute to the Union" is standard practice. Soldiers fire 50 shots, one for each state in the Union.
Out of 50 states, three (clearly unpatriotic) states ban all categories of fireworks. They are New Jersey, Massachusetts and Delaware.
Washington wanted his men to celebrate the Fourth, even though the Revolution was far from over. He ordered that his men get double the normal rations of rum.
In Bristol, you can witness the longest-running Fourth of July parade. The parade has been staged each year since 1785.
Calvin Coolidge is the only American president ever to have been born on Independence Day. In spite of his famous birthday, Coolidge's legacy gets extremely mixed reviews from historians.
Each year, Americans blow a huge chunk of change on beer -- to the tune of around $1 billion. That's more than 22 million cases of brew.
Highway statistics show that driving is more dangerous than usual on the Fourth. Why? People drive farther than average distances to celebrate … and they consume a lot of alcohol, too.
Malia Obama, one of former President Obama's daughters, was born on the Fourth of July. She was born in 1998.
Most historians think the Declaration was actually signed on August 2, 1776 instead of July 4. But August 2 doesn't really have the same ring to it, does it?
Americans eat more than 150 million hot dogs on the Fourth. About a third of those wieners come from one place -- Iowa, and no, you still don't want to know what's in those dogs.
In 1946, in the wake of World War II, the Philippines gained its independence from the U.S. For the first time in many years, the Filipino people had full sovereignty from foreign occupiers.
American consumer fireworks sales have more than doubled in the past 15 years, from a measly 107 million pounds to more than 240 million pounds in 2016. BOOM.
In what seems like a counterintuitive statistic, fireworks-related injuries have dropped even as sales of the explosives skyrocket. The reason? Better education and better quality fireworks, which are less likely to malfunction.
Miners were seriously disappointed that no one sent fireworks to them. So they made their own instead -- by loading the post office with explosives and then blowing it sky-high.