This week we celebrate our nation’s birth and independence.  There will be fireworks, picnics, bands, parades and flags.   We at South Dakota 811 are celebrating with you – but we’d also like to give you something to think about in a fun way!

So, in the spirit of a former late night tv host’s top ten, here is a backward countdown of interesting anecdotes from www.list25.com by Juan Castillo:

  1. The average age of those who signed the Declaration of Independence was 45. The youngest at age 27, was Thomas Lynch, Jr of South Carolina. The oldest delegate was Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania at age 70. Thomas Jefferson was 33.
  2. 1 out of 8 signers were educated at Harvard (7 total)
  3. 87.5% ($2.8 million) of imported U.S. flags are from China.
  4. 97% ($190.7 million) of imported fireworks are from China.
  5. An estimated 150 million hot dogs will be consumed onJuly 4th.
  6. Both the Philippines and Rwanda celebrateJuly 4th as a day of liberation. In Southeast Asia, it is known as “Republic Day” and Rwandans celebrate “Liberation Day.”
  7. The White House held its first4th of July party in 1801
  8. The tune of the National Anthem was originally used by an English drinking song called To Anacreon in Heaven.
  9. In 1954, the words ‘under God’ was added to the Pledge of Allegiance.
  10. The oldest, continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States is the4th of July Parade in Bristol, Rhode Island; it began in 1785.

Did you learn something new?   Here’s one more, just for fun: The printed version of the Declaration was called the Dunlap Broadside – 200 were made but only 27 are accounted for.   That leaves 173 of them somewhere – maybe there’s one in the bottom of that dusty trunk up in the attic!

Until next week, safe digging!

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