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The 50 Best and Most Interesting Trivia and Facts About Independence Day and July
The month of July is stuffed full of interesting facts and trivia. July means mid-summer here in the U.S. and all over the northern hemisphere. In the United States, we celebrate Independence Day. Canada, our neighboring country up North, celebrates Canada Day, And France joins in the fun with Bastille Day celebrations. The month of July has special meaning worldwide with cultural occasions, historical moments, and weather highs and lows.
Today, we’ll talk about interesting facts about July, some fun trivia, and break down a few holidays! Let’s start with the weather!
In the Northern hemisphere, July is the warmest month of the year. July averages the hottest temperatures of the year. That fact means that it’s not just warm mid-summer; it’s downright hot! It’s so hot that it’s hard to imagine that down in the Southern hemisphere, the weather trend is the opposite, making July the coldest month. I can hardly imagine having snow and freezing temps in mid-July! For that matter, I can’t imagine a hot holiday season. But I digress.
“Official” July Holidays Around the World
Let’s get back to talking about July. The very biggest holiday we celebrate in America during July is Independence Day. But America is not alone. July boasts of holidays in countries all around the world. Here are some of those dates to add to your calendar!
July 1 – Canada Day. Canada knows how to have a holiday! They start July with a bang and a big celebration commemorating the date in 1867 when the Dominion of Canada was created.
July 4 – Independence Day. The first Independence Day was celebrated on July 4, 1777, and has been observed every year since. The first “4th of July” holiday fell one year from the signing of the Declaration of Independence, when the first 13 colonies in America declared their Independence from Great Britain. Happy 4th of July, America!
“God Bless America, My Home Sweet Home”
July 6 – Kupala Night. In Ukraine, Poland, Russia, and Belarus, people celebrate Kupala Night. Also called Ivana-Kupala, this holiday takes place on July 6-7. On the evening of the 6th, practical jokes are prevalent, along with general mischief. On the 7th, water fights are part of the celebration. Kupala night ends on the evening of the 7th with a giant bonfire and couples holding hands and jumping over the fire together.
July 14 – Bastille Day. This French National Holiday is an opportunity to reflect on French history and military celebration, including reminders of the beginning of the French Revolution. Families around France enjoy fireworks and dancing on Bastille Day.
July 16 – La Paz Day. La Paz Day is the celebration of Independence in Bolivia from the Spanish. Like the people of the United States, Bolivians celebrate La Paz Day with fireworks, parades, and concerts.
“Just for Fun” Days
Not every July holiday has deep historical meaning, though. You can find hundreds of fun days of celebration and lists of holidays if you conduct a simple online search. I don’t have enough space to list them all, so I’ll give you some examples.
You’ll have the perfect excuse to eat your way through the month when you celebrate July as National Ice Cream month (my favorite), National Watermelon month (also an ideal summer treat), and National Hot Dog Month (great for picnics).
Take a look at some of these fun week-long July celebrations.
- The first week in July is Nude Recreation Week
- The second week in July is National Farriers Week
- The third week in July is National Zookeeper Week
- The fourth week in July is National Moth Week
Here are some fun days to remember in July. Celebrate at your own risk!
- July 2: World UFO Day
- July 3: Stay out of the Sun Day
- July 6: National Fried Chicken Day
- July 7: World Chocolate Day
- July 8: International Town Criers Day
- July 11: National Blueberry Muffin Day
- July 17: World Emoji Day
- July 22: Spooner’s Day
- July 25: National Day of the Cowboy
- July 27: Take Your Houseplants for a Walk Day
- July 29: International Tiger Day
- July 31: National Mutt Day
History in July
July is also filled with great historical dates. Check out all these exciting events that all took place in July.
Micheline Bernardini was the first to wear the scandalous two-piece bikini in a Paris fashion show on July 5, 1946. Ooh, La La! The itsy bitsy teeny weeny bikini was born!
Louis Pasteur was a French microbiologist. You may recognize his name from the development of the Pasteurization process, but did you know that he was also behind the rabies vaccine? He sure was! On July 6, 1885, Louis Pasteur administered the first rabies vaccine to nine-year-old Joseph Meister after being bitten by a rabid dog.
On July 10, 1938, Howard Hughes flew around the world in a record-breaking three days, 19 hours, and 14 minutes. Millions of people listened to radio updates throughout the three-day trip.
On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong took his first steps on the moon, prompting the famous quote, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind!” I wasn’t even alive at that time, yet these words immediately bring to mind the image of Walter Kronkite removing his glasses and bowing his head in amazement during the live televised event.
On July 29, 1928, Walt Disney released the animated short film “Steamboat Willie.” We all know what happened after that. If you haven’t heard of Walt Disney, you must be living under a rock.
Life and Death in July
The list of famous people that were born in July is endless. Here are just a few:
- Calvin Coolidge
- Liv Tyler
- Pamela Anderson
- Dan Aykroyd
- Tom Cruise
- Neil Simon
- Huey Lewis
- Sylvester Stallone
- Ringo Starr
- Jim Gaffigan
- Kevin Bacon
- Milo Ventimiglia
- Tom Hanks
Three of our American presidents have died not only in July but on July 4: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died in 1826, only five hours apart. Coincidentally, this was fifty years from the date of the Declaration of Independence. In a less flashy move, James Monroe died on July 4, 1831. Isn’t it so interesting that three of the presidents who died on July 4 were founding fathers?
Fourth of July Facts and Trivia from the United States
Because I am American, I can relate to Independence Day. Not only is it a fun holiday, but it’s one of my favorites, behind Christmas. So, if you’re from the U.S., see how many of these bits of July fact and trivia you know. If you’re not from the U.S., perhaps you’ll learn something new about this extraordinary country that I call home!
When was the Declaration of Independence Signed?
One would think this question has an easy answer since we celebrate our Independence on July 4. But stop! Even though the declaration was approved and the second continental congress officially adopted it on July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence wasn’t signed until August 2, 1776. Most Americans know that John Hancock was the first person to sign it. When signing an official document, you will commonly hear an American refer to their “John Hancock.”
Why do we celebrate with Fireworks?
John Adams was the man who set forth the idea that Americans would celebrate this holiday with fireworks every year. In a letter to his wife Abigail, Mr. Adams wrote, “[Independence Day] ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forevermore.”
Americans have lived up to Mr. Adams’s prediction by spending over $1 billion each July on fireworks! The American Pyrotechnics Association also reports that in 2021 Americans consumed 428.8 million lbs of fireworks. Wow!
But What Does America Drink (and Eat)?
Historians report that George Washington celebrated this iconic holiday with a hearty glass of rum and ordered up his troops a double ration of rum to celebrate. Americans today prefer beer and wine. WalletHub reports that American spend roughly $1.6 billion on beer and wine for the summer holiday!
Consider this even more astounding number if you think that figure is significant. Americans will spend around $7.5 billion on food for the holiday, including the 150 million hot dogs on the American menu! Now that’s a lot of hot dogs! We are a hungry bunch!
How Many Stars Do We have on the American Flag and Why?
Our national flag currently sports 50 stars, one representing each state. But the first American flag had only 13. These 13 stars represented the original 13 colonies.
Making the 4th Official
Even though Americans have celebrated Independence Day every year since 1776, the government did not declare it an official holiday until 1870. In 1941, we took it one step further by making July 4th a paid federal holiday for all Government Employees. Not every company gives a paid day off on this date, but most that are not in the restaurant or retail space do.
All About the National Anthem
The Star-Spangled Banner is America’s National Anthem, written by Francis Scott Key in 1814. At Independence Day celebrations across the country, partygoers will hear the National Anthem blasted out at some point. It will often accompany fireworks displays or parades. But that’s not just for 4th of July celebrations. At almost all sporting events in America, spectators hear some version of the Star-Spangled Banner before the competition begins. But why? Simple. To promote patriotism. This tradition began after World War I at the 1918 World Series.
Did You Know? Random July Facts
Even though July 1 marks the first day of the month in the first month in the second half of the year, July 1 is NOT the middle day of the year. That honor is held by July 2. The very center of the year falls on July 2 at 1 pm. The rules change on leap years, of course. Then everything is off!
July’s birth flowers are Larkspur, representing the lightness of the heart, and the Water Lily, which symbolizes a pure heart.
July’s birthstone is Ruby, a beautiful deep red gem. The Ruby is said to protect those who wear it against evil.
The Dog Days of summer take place in early July. Historians say these days were initially associated with bad luck, including bad weather, mad-dog attacks, oppressive heat, and seasonal drought. Today we think of Dog Days of summer as the season’s hottest days.
Farmers in America expect their corn crops to be “knee-high by the 4th of July.” I live in the countryside where cornfields are plentiful. Whenever I drive by those fields, I watch and assess their height by this standard. I wonder if citizens of other countries use this measuring system.
July gets its name from the ancient Roman Dictator, Julius Caesar. Caesar played a part in developing the Gregorian calendar system we use today (a shift from the original Roman calendar). He was also born in July, so it makes perfect sense to name the seventh month of the year in honor of Julius Caesar.
Wrapping It All Up
Wow! There is so much World and American history to discover in the months of the year! Researching all of this info was so enlightening. What fun facts do you know about July that you can share with the Friends of the Hip Grandma? Please share in the comments!