Each year, Americans ring in Independence Day in style. Picnics, barbecues, and over-the-top fireworks displays win the day. We plan, we shop, we invite the whole family.
Sometimes the entire neighborhood!
In the spirit of American independence, here is some quick Fourth of July history, along with some tips for celebrating Fourth of July safely.
A Little Fourth of July History
Okay, you probably know when Independence Day is (heck, you celebrate Fourth of July every year!). But how well do you know this quintessential American holiday?
Here are a few fun facts to jog your memory:
- Independence Day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
- When was the Declaration of Independence adopted? July 4, 1776.
- Who did the United States gain independence from? The British Empire.
- The oldest continuous Fourth of July celebration in America takes place in Bristol, Rhode Island. It has been held since 1785.
- Rhode Island is the last of the original thirteen colonies.
- The 30th President, Calvin Coolidge, is the only U.S. President to be born on Independence Day.
How to Celebrate Independence Day
Traditionally, Independence Day in America is a social and patriotic day, replete with stars, stripes, and sparklers. It’s an opportunity to get out into the sunshine—to break bread with family members and friends.
Here are some of the common ways people celebrate Independence Day:
- Go to the local parade
- Head out for hiking, or a camping trip
- Launch the boat and get out on the water
- Host a BBQ with games, crafts, food, and drink
- Watch baseball, the American past-time
- Go watch the fireworks!
Safety Tips and Tricks for this Fourth of July
Unfortunately, the holiday season is not without risk. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 250 people go to the ER daily with fireworks-related injuries in the month around July 4th. (What a coincidence that the Fourth of July immediately follows National Safety Month in June.)
We’ve written about common holiday injuries before, including some key ways to avoid them. Here are some tips for staying safe this Fourth of July.
- Stay hydrated. No matter where you are—be it beach or city park—remember that thirst probably means you’re already dehydrated. July is a warm summer month throughout most of the continental United States. Be diligent and get your eight eight-ounce glasses a day! (And no, soda doesn’t count.)
- It takes a village to keep everyone safe. It’s not always easy to keep an eye on everyone at the party. This includes the kiddos. To make sure everyone at the party stays safe, enlist the eyes of your friends, family, and neighbors. Communicate often!
- Don’t leave the grill unattended. This is a big one, and so easy to overlook. Still, it’s easy to get carried away in conversation when the mood is so festive. An adult should always be near the grill when it’s on.
- Stay away from personal fireworks. While it’s tempting to set off your fireworks, the risks far outweigh the costs. First of all, possession of fireworks is illegal in many states. We recommend heading to the local fireworks show, where trained professionals assume the risk so you can sit back and enjoy the show.
- On the beach, treat the water with respect. Always swim with a buddy, never swim immediately after a meal, and certainly don’t swim after drinking alcohol. Pay attention to lifeguards and posted signs. Beware of rip currents!
- Use sunscreen! Though they might look good, tans indicate prolonged sun exposure. This can lead to skin damage. Use broad-spectrum sunscreen and reapply every half hour.
- Keep pets hydrated, too! During all the festivities, it’s easy to forget that canines need to stay hydrated, too.
Most Importantly: Happy Fourth of July!
We hope these tips help you celebrate in style while remaining sensible (and that you can show off our fun 4th of July facts at your family barbeque). From the family at AlterG, have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July holiday!