1) The first Independence Day in America was celebrated on July 4th, 1776, the day the Continental Congress approved the document that declared our independence from Great Britain. The war that followed lasted until 1783, so basically less messy than most divorces.
2) The major objection to being ruled by Britain was pithily summed up as “taxation without representation”. Minor objections included “Brit hookers aren’t lookers” and “your tea tastes like pee”.
3) Thomas Jefferson presented the first draft of the Declaration of Independence to Congress on June 28th, 1776, but it wasn’t passed, so no one ever found out what was in it.
4) Betsy Ross actually sewed the first American flag two months before Independence Day, a case of premature embroideration.
5) The first public Independence Day event at the White House occurred in 1804 during the Jefferson administration and was attended mainly by hippies accusing the President of waging war to steal oil from the Barbary pirates.
6) Before cars ruled the roadway, Independence Day was traditionally the most miserable day of the year for horses, tormented by kids who threw firecrackers at them. Think of it as a primitive version of “Angry Birds”.
7) Lewis and Clark celebrated the first Independence Day west of the Mississippi at Independence Creek near Atchison, Kansas. The main festivity consisted of throwing firecrackers at cyclones, resulting in the death of over 100 Munchkins and the Good Witch of the South.
8) Both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on Independence Day, 1826. Jefferson, however, managed to outlive Adams by a few minutes, thus fulfilling the tontine and securing for himself the front of both the nickel and the two dollar bill.
9) The names of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were withheld from the public for more than six months to protect the signers from being prosecuted for treason. Not sure what Jane Fonda did to dodge that bullet.
10) In 1941, Congress declared Independence Day a federal legal holiday. It is one of the few federal holidays that has not been moved to the nearest Friday or Monday, due mostly to the fact that bills proposing the move are always introduced too close to the Memorial Day weekend to get acted upon.
11) Over 100 other nations besides America celebrate their own Independence Day. All of whom, ironically, are completely dependent on America to protect them militarily.
12) A large percentage of Americans also celebrate Dependence Day. Usually around the 1st of the month when the check from Uncle Sam hits the ol’ mailbox.
13) The traditional form of celebration on Independence Day is setting off illegal fireworks. If some killjoy cop tries to bust you for it, play “Angry Birds” with him.
14) Also traditional, yet less popular in modern times – writing long, bilious letters to monarchs That include random Capitalization and ftarting “s” words with the letter “f”.
15) To be safe on Independence Day, never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers. To have fun on Independence Day, always light your fireworks with a burning sheet of safety tips.
Have a happy Independence Day, and remember – an Independence Day parade ain’t an Independence Day parade unless it includes at least one tarred and feathered Redcoat.