The Fourth of July, known as Independence Day, is a federal holiday that marks when we declared our independence from Great Britain through the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Today, on Independence Day, we celebrate our freedom with family, friends, food, fun, and fireworks. So, to kick off the celebration, here are four fun facts about the Fourth of July.

1. The Declaration of Independence may not have been signed on July 4, 1776.

The date of the signing of the Declaration of Independence has been disputed throughout history. Some sources suggest only John Hancock signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, while the other men signed it on August 2. Some say John Hancock and Charles Thomson signed it on July 4. And other sources claim that no one signed the document on July 4, 1776, but the men began signing it days later. However, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams all wrote that it was signed by Congress on the day when it was adopted on July 4, 1776.

2. On the original American flag, the stars represented equality.

On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the United States. It was the first time all the colonies would share the same flag. The original flag was to represent the 13 colonies with 13 stripes, alternating red and blue, and 13 stars on a blue background. The stars were in a circle so that all the colonies would appear equal.

3. A small town in Nebraska is the “Official Fourth of July City.”

In 1979, a Congress resolution designated Seward, Nebraska, as “America’s Official Fourth of July City-Small Town USA.” Even though the city only has a population of 6,000, over 40,000 come to the town’s celebration, which is largely run by high school and college students. During the city’s celebration in 1975, they dedicated the world’s largest time capsule that holds thousands of articles, ranging from a new 1975 automobile to t-shirts! The time capsule is expected to be opened in 2025.

4. Food is bigger than fireworks on the Fourth of July.

When we think of the Fourth, we think of fireworks. But Americans actually spend more money on consuming their favorite food on the holiday. Barbecue is one of the most popular foods at Fourth of July celebrations. Approximately 150 million hot dogs and 700 million pounds of chicken are consumed on this day. Aside from barbecue, Americans also spend $92 million on chips, $167.5 million on watermelon, and $107 million on popsicles.

These four fun facts about the Fourth of July are a great reminder of the celebrations that will be happening near you! To find Fourth fun near you, check out seven firework displays to celebrate the fourth of July in our community!