Why "The Fourth of July?"

FlagWhile "Independence Day" is a very good name for a holiday celebrating the separation of one country from another; most Americans refer to this holiday by its date, as "The Fourth of July"-or, indeed, "The Glorious Fourth," though the latter has fallen out of common usage.

Nevertheless, there are and always have been people who say "July Fourth" instead of "The Fourth of July"-just not as many of them. Google returns 11,000,000 hits on a search for "Fourth of July" and only 826,000 for "July Fourth." But whatever order you choose to say it in, we hope you enjoy the national holiday

Fun Facts

304 million
The nation’s population on this July Fourth.

5.9 million
Estimated number of people living in Missouri in 2007.

The first celebration west of the Mississippi River is held at Independence Creek by Lewis and Clark.

Charles Wilkes, U.S. naval officer and explorer, gives the first Fourth of July celebration west of the Missouri River at a site near Sequalitchew Lake (now Pierce County), Washington.

The year that July 4th became a holiday. However Independence Day was observed since July 9, 1776.

$207 million
The value of fireworks imported from China in 2007, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imported ($217 million).

Number of places named “eagle” — after the majestic bird that serves as our national symbol.

Number of places with the name “freedom.” Freedom, Calif., with 6,000 residents, has the largest population among these.

Number of places that have “independence” in their name. The most populous of these is Independence, Mo., with 109,400 residents.

The year Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream month. Ice cream will be a part of many Americans’ celebration this July 4th.

St. Louis World’s Fair Credited as the event when the ice cream cone became popular. Ernest A. Hamwi, a Syrian concessionaire, was selling a crisp, waffle-like pastry in a booth right next to an ice cream vendor. Because of ice cream's popularity, the vendor ran out of dishes. Hamwi rolled one of his wafer-like waffles in the shape of a cone and the vendor put some ice cream in it. Customers were happy and the cone was on its way to becoming the great American institution that it is today.

Missouri Cone Company
Founded by Hamwi in 1910; later known as the Western Cone Company.

90 percent
Percent of households in the United States that consume ice cream and related frozen desserts.

Sources: International Dairy Foods Association


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