Four Fabulous Fourth of July Fun Facts

Paul Barton Communications Fourth of July

Back when I was an internal communications editor, one of my favorite things to do was to gather holiday fun facts and another was to overdo alliteration. So, just for fun, from deep inside my newsletter archives, here are four fabulous Fourth of July Fun Facts to know and tell:

(1.) Freaky but Factual: Three of the first five Presidents of the United States (who were each signers of the Declaration of Independence) died on July 4. John Adams, the second president and Thomas Jefferson, the third president, both died on July 4, 1826 – exactly 50 years from the first Fourth of July. James Monroe, the fifth president, died on July 4, 1831. All three all died of natural causes.

(2.) Fireworks Firsts: 9th Century people in China and India are believed to have invented fireworks. In the 13th Century, Venetian merchant traveler Marco Polo brought fireworks from China to Italy. By the 15th Century, Europeans were using fireworks frequently in various celebrations. Americans used fireworks on the very first American Fourth of July celebration in 1776. The most prevalent use of fireworks today is by people throughout Asia to celebrate the New Year.

(3.) Faulty Fable: The rousing music of the “1812 Overture” is often used to accompany spectacular fireworks displays. Some displays include thunderous cannons being fired off in synchronization with the music. If you are like most folks, you probably think the song was written to commemorate the American victory over the British in the War of 1812. Well, actually Tchaikovsky wrote the song to celebrate Napoleon Bonaparte’s invasion of Russia in 1812. But the song does go nicely with Fourth of July fireworks displays.

(4.) Founding Father Foresight: John Adams wrote the following in a letter to his wife just before the first Fourth of July celebration in 1776: “The day will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival … solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, illuminations (fireworks displays), from this time forward forevermore.”

Well, there you have it folks. I hope you enjoyed these fun facts and, whether at work or on holiday, I hope you have a fantastic Fourth of July!

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