Hot dogs and fireworks, on July 2nd??

Hot dogs and fireworks, on July 2nd??

The smell of the grill, the sultry heat of a summer evening, fireworks lighting up the night— the 4th of July means summer is in full swing.

The tradition of celebrating the 4th of July goes back to the very beginning of the United States, though it wasn’t officially marked as a federal holiday until 1870. Back in the early days, red and blue paper was expensive and hard to come by so George Washington and his troops started using decorative greenery to mark the occasion.  

Should have been the 2nd?

In fact, it almost wasn’t the fourth of July at all. The original Continental Congress that gathered to sign the Declaration of Independence meant to have everything wrapped up by July 2nd. 

John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that: "the Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival." Only two of the delegates actually signed the document on July 4th. It wasn’t until the 2nd of August that most of the delegates actually wrote their names on it. 

A day for fun and family

The 4th also means a day of summer fun. The American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) estimates that more than 14,000 fireworks displays will light up U.S. skies. And according to the National Hotdog and Sausage Council, over 150 million hotdogs will be eaten. 

The 4th is also a time for family celebrations.  62 percent of Americans will gather for a family cookout or picnic, and 34.9 million of us will travel more than 50 miles to visit someone.  

So whether you’re planning a small family get-together, or travelling to one of the big fireworks shows across the country, enjoy the summer and be sure to wish Uncle Sam a happy birthday. 

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