Happy 4th of July to all of our American readers! To celebrate, we're releasing 4 fun facts and conversation starters for your 4th of July parties this evening:
- The United States turns 247 years old today: As we pointed out in our June Recap post, the US is hilariously young compared to our friends across the pond. The Kingdom of England was formed in 927 AD by Æthelstan who succeeded Sihtric the Viking ruler, who was married to Æthelstan's sister. The first successful English colony was Jamestown, established in 1607 almost 700 years later.
- There have been 27 official versions of the US flag: A law established in 1818 dictates that the number of stars on the flag must equal the number of states in the nation. When a star is added to the flag, the actual change takes place on the 4th of July following the new state's admission. The last time this occurred was in 1959 with the addition of Hawaii's star.
- Fireworks are being replaced: Particularly on the West Coast, many major cities have done away with firework displays in favor of drone shows. The cities are referencing wildfires and air pollution as the main reasons for the switch. If you're anything like me, you might have some nostalgia for fireworks. In this case, though, I think their reasoning is sound. One benefit of drone shows other than not waking up any sleeping babies is the ability to tell a narrative story.
- Americans love hot dogs: Apparently we eat 150 million hotdogs on the 4th of July every year. This is “enough to stretch from D.C. to L.A. more than five times,” according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. That's a lot of hotdogs, and I'm sure the number of gout flare-ups on July 5th is also quite impressive. Speaking of the general health of Americans on our birthday, 3 US presidents have died on July 4th. Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826), John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826), and James Monroe (April 28, 1758 – July 4, 1831). Yes, Thomas and John died on the same day only a couple of hours apart at the ages of 83 and 90 years old respectively.
We hope you enjoy your hotdogs and fireworks (or drones) tonight, and try not to think about work in the morning. We'll have a new, spicy article for you tomorrow to help cure that midweek holiday hangover!