June 28: Did you know? Facts on the Fourth

Where ever you are, take some time to enjoy the holiday. Have a hotdog, play with sparklers, watch the fireworks, but most of all, spend the day with the people you are going to miss the most when you leave for school (which is now less than two months away).

You can also begin to prepare for the U.S. History class you’re probably going to have to take at some point. Here are some important things to know about the Fourth of July:

  • Fireworks were actually developed by the Chinese for war rockets and explosives.
  • The “Star-Spangled Banner” is actually set to an English drinking song.
  • The Declaration of Independence, though adopted on July 4, 1776, wasn’t signed by most delegates until Aug. 2 of that same year. The first celebration of independence took place on July 8, 1776.
  • Until 1783, Boston celebrated the nation’s independence on March 5, the anniversary of the Boston Massacre.
  • Work on the Erie Canal (1817), the first railroad (1828) and the Washington Monument (1848) all began on July 4.
  • July 4th wasn’t declared a legal holiday until 1941.