4th of July is right around the corner! This day is such a fun holiday. Families gather together for barbecues, parades, and pool parties. Kids enjoy playing outside all day and experiencing sparklers in the evening. Americans consume more hot dogs than any other day in the year, and about $1 billion dollars are spent on fireworks.

Amidst all the patriotic festivities, sometimes it’s easy to forget the reason we are celebrating in the first place. If it weren’t for the 56 people who signed the Declaration of Independence, declaring America’s freedom, we wouldn’t get to partake in any of these celebrations.

Before the holiday next week, share these fun facts about the 4th of July with your kids to remind them why we celebrate!

  • The 4th of July celebrates the day that the Declaration of Independence was adopted, declaring the United States as an independent country no longer under the rule of Great Britain
  • The United States was actually declared independent on July 2nd, but the formal declaration took place on July 4th
  • The original draft of the Declaration of Independence can be found in the Library of Congress in its preserved form with changes made by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, along with notes from Congress
  • The official signed version is preserved at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
  • The 4th of July is also known as Independence Day
  • Celebration of July 4th dates all the way back to the Revolution, but it did not become an official holiday until 1870
  • John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both signers of the Declaration of Independence and Presidents of the United States, both died on July 4th, 1826
  • James Monroe, another President and signer, also died on July 4th, but five years later in 1831
  • The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is ceremoniously tapped thirteen times each July 4th to signal all other bells in America to ring in honor of our independence
  • Since the Declaration of Independence marked the beginning of the formation of the United States, the national animal was decided around this time, too. Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national animal, but he was out voted and the bald eagle became the national animal

We hope that this list sparked some great conversation between you and your kiddos, and maybe you even learned a new thing or two! Happy Independence Day!