The American Revolution began with the first shots fired at Lexington and Concord in 1775. One year later, the Declaration of Independence was signed.

This week Americans will take time to celebrate the birth of our nation, remember those who fought for our freedom, and honor those who actively guard our freedoms today. Celebrations will vary across the country, but parades, fireworks, and outdoor fun are sure to be found.

Here are some fun facts and trivia to share at your backyard celebration.

  1. The first White House Fourth of July party was held in 1804.
  2. Fifty-six people signed the Declaration of Independence although most didn’t formally sign until August 2, 1776.
  3. John Hancock was the only member of the Continental Congress who formally signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.
  4. In 1776, the population of the country was 2.5 million people. Now, 242 years later, our population is 326+ million people.
  5. Congress didn’t make the Fourth of July and official federal holiday until 1870.
  6. In 1938 the Fourth became a paid legal holiday for employees of the federal government.
  7. Three United States presidents have died on the Fourth of July: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe.
  8. Yankee Doodle, the celebrated patriotic song, was written by British army officers to make fun of backwoods Americans.
  9. Around 155 million hot dogs are consumed on the Fourth of July. That’s enough hot dogs to make a line from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles more than five times according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.
  10. Americans spent more than $800 million on fireworks in 2016.

On that note, I’d like to remind you that many PTSD veterans and pets will be cringing with every blast of those fireworks set off in your driveway. You might want to save money and watch fireworks display on the television instead.