Happy 4th of July!
Here are 13 Independence Day-related bits of info...
1. There are 30 places in the nation with the word "Liberty" in their names.
2. There are 11 places with the word "Independence" in their names.
3. The most populous of the above is Independence, Missouri (pop. 113,288)
4. Independence Day was first observed in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776. In 1941, Congress declared July 4 a federal legal holiday.
5. Here's what 2nd President John Adams said about Independence Day:"It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore."
6. What do Ann Landers, Neil Simon, Gina Lollobrigida, Calvin Coolidge, and Louis B. Mayer have in common? --They were all born on the 4th of July.
7. Americans love hot dogs: During the July 4th weekend alone (the biggest hot-dog holiday of the year), 155 million will be downed.
8. Legend has it that the Chinese made the first fireworks in the 800s, filling bamboo shoots with gunpowder and exploding them at the New Year with the hope that the sound would scare away evil spirits. According to tradition, Marco Polo brought this technology back to Europe.
9. In 2007, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 9,800 fireworks-related emergency-room visits. And there's no tally of the countless blistered hands, traumatized pets, singed shrubs, and melted G.I. Joe dolls. (from FactMonster.com)
10. "God Bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood originally reached the Top 10 on the country music charts in 1984, and again rapidly climbed the music charts after the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. The song also was on the country charts in 1991 during the Persian Gulf War.
11. The patriotic poem "America the Beautiful" was published on July 4, 1895 by Wellesley College professor Katharine Lee Bates.
12. In the 1996 movie, "Independence Day," the President's speech was filmed on 6 August 1995 in front of an old airplane hangar. The hangar once housed the Enola Gay, which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima exactly 50 years earlier on 6 August 1945.
13. What will you be doing on the 4th? I plan to start off the day at the Patriotic Prayer Breakfast which is sponsored by the radio stations I work for...and end up watching Rockford's amazing fireworks show!
Have a fabulous 4th!