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5 Surprising Facts About Independence Day

Happy 4th of July from Scisbo!  Sit back, relax, and enjoy some Independence Day trivia.  Today we're sharing 5 unusual facts about this fun holiday:

  1. The Dead Presidents.  Ironically, three presidents—Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Monroe—have died on this holiday.  Considering that we're currently only on our 45th president, it seems like a disproportionate number of presidential deaths have occurred on Independence Day!

  2. Yankee Doodle Huh?  While the song, Yankee Doodle, calls to mind hot dogs, apple pies, and all things American, it actually didn't start out as a patriotic tune.  Instead, it was “sung originally by British officers making fun of backwoods Americans,” reports Cleveland.com.

  3. Made in the USA. Not.  Much like Yankee Doodle, fireworks seem quintessentially American.  Yet that doesn't seem to be the case if we go by import/export data.  In 2012, for example, the US imported $227.3 million worth of fireworks from China.  By contrast, the US only exported $11.7 million worth of fireworks that year, with Israel being the largest purchaser.

  4. Murky Origins.  July 4th is the biggest hot dog holiday of the year.  You would think that as popular as hot dogs have become, we'd have some idea of where they originated.  Not so.  According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, hot dogs may have come “from a widespread common European sausage brought here by butchers of several nationalities.”  Interestingly enough, that's all we know.  Hmmmm....

  5. Our Pursuits.  While everyone knows the Declaration of Independence guarantees our right to the “pursuit of happiness,” few people realize how close those words came to being something different.  Initially, the Declaration of Independence guaranteed our right to the “pursuit of property.”  A wise Thomas Jefferson changed the wording to the “pursuit of happiness,” which is how it (happily) remained.