As America turns 240, we pause to reflect on the freedoms we too often take for granted, and tip our hat to veterans everywhere for enabling our country to remain free.

In the spirit of the day, we offer a glimpse of Independence Days over the years, with a few fun facts about the holiday. Have a safe and happy holiday!

July 4, 1936 at world famous Jones Beach - Influential Insiders.com
July 4, 1936 at world famous Jones Beach – Influential Insiders.com

 

Independence Day at Rockaway Beach, 1946
Independence Day at Rockaway Beach, 1946
Operation Sail around New York, 1976
Operation Sail around New York, 1976
Fireworks over Montauk, 1996
Fireworks over Montauk, 1996

 

A bit of July 4th trivia, courtesy of the International Business Times:

How many people signed the Declaration of Independence on the Fourth of July? Two.

Which president was born on the Fourth of July? Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president, in 1872.

How did the Nathan’s Fourth of July Hot Dog Contest begin? Legend has it that four

Fireworks at Jones Beach, 2015
Fireworks at Jones Beach, 2015

immigrants got into an argument over who was more patriotic. They decided to settle the disagreement by seeing who could eat the most wieners.

Did you know three of the first five U.S. presidents died on the Fourth of July? John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe all died on Independence Day. Even weirder, Adams, the second president, and Jefferson, the third, died on the same day in 1826, the country’s 50th birthday.

Are there Fourth of July celebrations in other countries? Yes. They are featured in Denmark and Norway, as well as Britain, Portugal and Sweden. Danes and Norwegians celebrate the American Independence Day because so many thousands of their fellow citizens emigrated to the U.S. in the early 1900s. In the other European countries, American military bases host celebrations, which are supported by local businesses as a way to boost tourism.

When were fireworks first used to celebrate the Fourth of July? The initial fireworks were ignited in 1777 to commemorate the first anniversary of the American colonies’ Declaration of Independence.

Which newspaper first printed the Declaration of Independence? The Pennsylvania Evening Post.

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