Jim Bowen of Troy pulls the Boy Scouts’ parade float in the 1961 Troy 4th of July Parade

Independence day facts

  1. Congress made Independence Day an official unpaid holiday for federal employees in 1870. In 1938, Congress changed Independence Day to the paid federal holiday that we now enjoy.


  1. Stars on the original American flag were in a circle so that all colonies would appear equal.


  1. The first Independence Day celebration took place in Philadelphia, Penn. on July 8, 1776. This was also the day that the Declaration of Independence was first read in public. People were summoned to hear it read by the ringing of the Liberty Bell.


  1. President John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe all died on the fourth. Adams and Jefferson (both signed the Declaration of Independance) died on the same day within hours of each other in 1826.


  1. Every 4th of July, the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, Penn. is tapped thirteen times in honor of the original thirteen colonies.


  1. The tune of the National Anthem was originally used by an English drinking song called, “to Anacreon in Heaven.” The words have nothing to do with consumption of alcohol but the “melody that Francis Key had in mind when he wrote those words did originate decades earlier as the melody for a song praise of wine.”


  1. Barbecuing is popular on Independence Day. Approximately 150 million hot dogs and 700 million pounds of chicken are consumed on this day.


  1. In 2012, the vast majority of imported U.S. flags ($3.6 million) were made in China.