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4th of July History, Fun Facts and Top Lists

We all learned about this infamous day as far back as grade school but how many of us know the actual history of the 4th of July?

Prepare to get schooled on some fun facts, quotes and tidbits surrounding the most famous day in American history.

History of July 4th Fireworks

Fireworks have been around for nearly 1,000 years and were first invented in China. They rolled explosives around bamboo and the noise was so loud the Chinese were convinced it could scare away evil spirits.

Fireworks made their way to Europe sometime in the 13th century, probably carried back from the East by Crusaders. Their popularity grew, and by the 15th century they were widely used for religious festivals and public entertainment.

The earliest settlers brought their passion for fireworks to America. They used the explosives to celebrate holidays and impress the natives. Some generals even used fireworks to stage victory in battle and confuse the enemy. By the time of the American Revolution, fireworks were an integral part of American tradition in idealizing important events.

The first Independence Day fireworks display occurred in 1777, when Americans were still unsure if their freedom as a new nation would last. Every year since, fireworks have been set off on this day to show national pride and patriotism.

4th of July Fun Facts

Did you know...

In July 1776, there was an estimated 2.5 million people living in the new nation known as America; today over 307 million live here.

More than 66 million Americans say they took part in a barbeque during last July 4th weekend.

There are more than 30 places in the U.S. with the word "liberty" in their title; the most famous is Liberty, Missouri.

Over 1,200 American flags are flown over Washington, D.C. every July 4th
Benjamin Franklin, John Adams & Thomas Jefferson served on the committee that picked the eagle for the national seal (Franklin wanted the turkey).

Top 5 Patriotic Songs for Your 4th of July Party

You know the Star Spangled Banner and Yankee Doodle Dandy, but what about:

America the Beautiful - Ray Charles

American Girl - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

Born in the USA - Bruce Springsteen

Surfin' USA - The Beach Boys

Song for America - Kansas

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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Exotic Cocktail Recipe Video Link to video gallery. Upgrade your spring sips with this cocktail tutorial. »

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