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Happy Fourth of July! Today is when our nation celebrates its independence from England. Originally known as Independence Day, July 4th has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.

Below are some surprising 5 facts about the Fourth of July:

Three presidents died on the Fourth of July.

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson passed away within hours of each other on July 4, 1826. James Monroe also passed away on July 4, 1831.

 The Signers

John Hancock was the only person to actually sign the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The other 55 signers did not sign it until August 2nd or even later.

The Birth of the Holiday

Americans began observing the Fourth of July as early as 1777, when the first-ever major celebration in Philadelphia included a parade, a thirteen-shot cannon salute and fireworks. However Congress didn’t make it official until 1870.

Something about the Hot Dog

Over an estimated 150 million hot dogs will be consumed today.

The History of the Eagle         

Benjamin Franklin proposed the turkey as the national bird but was overruled by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who wanted the bald eagle.

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