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Did you know that, according to the National Sausage and Hot Dog Council (yes, that is a thing), Americans are expected to eat about 150 million hot dogs during the 4th of July holiday? Even though most Americans know that 4th of July isn’t all about hot dogs and hamburgers, how did that tradition start?
It actually starts a little before July 4, 1776. On July 2 of that very same year, a man named Richard Henry Lee proposed the idea that the 13 colonies should become independent from Britain. However, July 4 is celebrated as Independence Day because that’s the day Congress approved the Declaration of Independence.
The first Independence Day celebration on July 4, 1777 consisted of bonfires, fireworks and parties in Philadelphia. Over time, picnics, games, cannons, speeches, and other activities were added to the celebrations, but July 4th didn’t become a national holiday until 1870. It also became a paid holiday to all federal employees in 1941.
As you celebrate Independence Day this year, think of the various ways you can make this country a better place. Change happens with the actions of one person at a time!