by Andrew Weast
The E. W. Scripps Company
As we celebrate the 4th of July, here are some very interesting facts about the history of the United States.
1. Uncle Sam was first popularized during the War of 1812, when the term referred to a man who supplied meat for the armies. The cartoon image we're all familiar with first appeared in 1916 in a weekly magazine and, as said by the creator, became the "the most famous poster in the world". Believe it or not, the U. S. Congress didn't adopt him as a national symbol until 1961. (Source: Library of Congress
2. The American national anthem, the "Star-Spangled Banner," is set to the tune of an English drinking song, "To Anacreon in Heaven
3. Eleven places have “independence” in their name. The most populous of these is Independence, Missouri, with 111,023 residents. This is also the hometown of our 33rd President Harry S. Truman.
4. The iron framework of the Statue of Liberty was designed by French engineer Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, who also built the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The famous statue was a gift to the United States by the country of France in the year in 1886.
5. The "Father of Our Country" George Washington held his first public office at the tender age of 17 as a surveyor for Culpeper County, Virginia. He continued in public service until his death in 1799.
6. The words "Under God" were not added to the Pledge of Allegiance until 1954, more than 60 years after it was first penned by Francis Bellamy
. The words were taken from President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.
7. Our 8th president, Martin Van Buren, born in 1782, was the first president not born a British subject. (Source: inaugural.senate.gov
8. Describing the importance of the Fourth of July in a letter to his wife, John Adams wrote, “… a day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It 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 forever more.
” (Source: masshist.org
9. The stars on the original American flag were arranged in a circle to ensure that all colonies were equal, along with the thirteen stripes that exist on our flag today. (Source: ushistory.org
10. There are a number of places nationwide with “liberty” in its name. The most populous one is Liberty, Missouri. The state of Iowa, with four, has more of these places than any other state: Libertyville, New Liberty, North Liberty and West Liberty.
And there you have it! Remember, feel free to post your own amazing facts below in our comment area and have a great 4th of July!
Copyright (c) 2009 The E.W. Scripps Company