The stars and stripes are a tapestry of food, fireworks, and history. Kick off the Fourth of July with these fun facts and delicious burgers.
With fireworks, barbecues, and picnics, the Fourth of July marks a day of pride, patriotism, and celebration in the United States. But beyond the food and parades lies the fascinating facts that have shaped the stars and stripes of this historic holiday.
From its origins as a declaration of independence to the traditions and symbols that have shaped its legacy, the Fourth of July is a rich tapestry of facts that embody the essence of American spirit and resilience. Although these facts might not have a National Treasure level of mystery, they are guaranteed to spice up your celebrations.
And to make your Independence Day even more memorable, we’ll also share a mouthwatering burger recipe that will have your taste buds sizzling with delight. Get ready to ignite your enthusiasm and prepare for a day filled with revelry and deliciousness!
1. The United States’ Independence Day
While the Fourth of July is celebrated as Independence Day in the United States, the legal separation from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776. July 4 became Independence Day because it was the day the Continental Congress adopted the final wording of the Declaration of Independence, which declared the thirteen American colonies as a new nation separate from British rule.
2. The First Independence Day Celebration
The first Independence Day celebration took place on July 8, 1776, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It included a public reading of the Declaration of Independence, a parade, and the ringing of bells.
3. The Official Liberty Bell Crack
The Liberty Bell, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is an iconic symbol of American independence. It is said that on July 4, 1776, the bell was rung to summon the citizens of Philadelphia for the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. However, the bell cracked during George Washington’s birthday celebration in 1846 and has not rung since. Nevertheless, every Fourth of July, descendents of Declaration signers symbolically tap the bell thirteen times, once for each of the original thirteen states, to mark the holiday.
4. Fourth of July at the White House
Thomas Jefferson first opened the White House to Independence Day celebrations in 1801. Since then, the Executive Mansion has hosted an annual Fourth of July celebration on its lawn. It has evolved to include a concert, a fireworks display, and various festivities. It is known as the “Salute to America” and attracts thousands of visitors.
Fireworks have become an integral part of Fourth of July celebrations, representing the rockets’ red glare mentioned in the national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The tradition of using fireworks on Independence Day can be traced back to the earliest celebrations in 1777 when the skies were illuminated to mark the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
6. The Biggest Fireworks Display
The largest fireworks display in the United States takes place in New York City, with the Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular. The event features a dazzling show with synchronized music and pyrotechnic effects.
Other amazing fireworks displays include Let Freedom Sing! in Nashville, Tennessee; Big Bay Boom in San Diego, California; National Mall Fireworks in Washington, D.C.; and Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular in Boston, Massachusetts.
7. Hot Dogs
The Fourth of July is synonymous with backyard barbecues and delicious food. And Americans are obsessed with hot dogs. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council has estimated that Americans consume a staggering 150 million hot dogs on Independence Day each year. And Coney Island, in Brooklyn, New York, has held an annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest since 1916. It has become a popular Fourth of July tradition, attracting competitors from around the world.
The Best Burger Recipe for the Fourth of July
On a holiday where everyone barbecues, you need to work to make your food stand out. But you also don’t want to break your back while doing it. With these bacon-infused burgers, hosting the party of the season will be no sweat.
Check out Jason Goldstein’s cookbook The Happy Sandwich for more knock out recipes to spice up your Fourth of July.
Sheet Pan Bacon-Infused Burger
I call these my “dream big” burgers. I prepared the grilled version of this burger on Good Morning America with Robin Roberts. It was such an amazing experience, and it taught me that anything is possible. Dream big, because your dreams can become reality!
Serving size 4 sandwiches
- 1 package frozen french fries
Fill It Up!
- 5 strips bacon, raw
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
Top It Off!
- Burger Sauce
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon pickled jalapeño, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 4 slices cheddar cheese
- Sliced red onion
- Sliced tomato
- 4 burger buns
- Preheat the oven and cook the fries according to package instructions. Sprinkle the fries with salt and wrap in tin foil to keep them warm while you make the burgers; set to the side.
- If needed, change the oven temperature to 400 degrees.
- Add the bacon to a food processor or blender and pulse until a paste is formed.
- In a large bowl, mix the bacon, beef, salt, and pepper. Form into four patties.
- Add the patties to a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil.
- Cook for 10 minutes and then flip; cook another 5 minutes for medium rare or 7 minutes for medium.
- Add the burger and some burger sauce, cheese, lettuce, onion, and tomato to each bun. Serve with fries and ketchup.
For more Fourth of July treats, check out these recipes from The Pioneer Woman.
Books to Rock Your Fourth of July Celebrations
- My America, The Beautiful
- The Happy Sandwich
- ¡Viva Desserts!
- Aguas Frescas & Paletas
- Big Book of Family Games
Shaelyn Topolovec earned a BA in editing and publishing from BYU, worked on several online publications, and joined the Familius family. Shae is currently an editor and copywriter who lives in California’s Central Valley.