The 4th of July may be over but celebrations will last well into the weekend. Barbecue, parades, fireworks and family vacations, all great ways to celebrate, but Bored Panda has one more addition – memes. What better way to celebrate Independence Day than gathering the ones you love around to laugh at some patriotic memes.
From the nonstop fireworks to jokes about the British (“the original Brexit”), to the sometimes hilariously obnoxious patriotism – Americans do it up especially big for this holiday. So whether you are the ones harassing your neighbors with fireworks all weekend long or inside binge-watching ‘Stranger Things’ with noise-canceling headphones, scroll down below for some ‘Merica-themed laughs and don’t forget to upvote your favs!
When we think about the 4th of July one image that comes to mind is that of the Founding Fathers and Continental Congress presenting the first draft of the Declaration of Independence for signing on July 4, 1776 – but this isn’t entirely accurate. Famed historian David McCullough wrote, “No such scene, with all the delegates present, ever occurred at Philadelphia.” The date of July 4th has been accepted as the day because that’s when the document was adopted by the Continental Congress. However, it still had to be signed by various other committees and wasn’t officially engrossed (finalized and in larger print) until August 2, 1776.
Today’s explosive celebrations aren’t much different from the original 4th of July celebrations. After the words of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 were read military personnel and civilians in the Bowling Green section of Manhattan tore down a statue of King George III and had massive bonfires. The following year the Virginia Gazette describes the July 4 celebration in Philadelphia: “The evening was closed with the ringing of bells, and at night there was a grand exhibition of fireworks, which began and concluded with thirteen rockets on the commons, and the city was beautifully illuminated. Everything was conducted with the greatest order and decorum, and the face of joy and gladness was universal.”
Now all of America joins together in 4th of July festivities with good food, fireworks, holiday sales, and for the lucky ones, no work – but it wasn’t always this way. The first state to recognize this day as an official holiday was Massachusetts on July 3, 1781. It wasn’t until June 28, 1870 that Congress decided to start designating federal holidays which included Independence Day as well as New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Eighty-five years before the 4th of July was recognized as a federal holiday, the town of Bristol, Rhode Island were throwing what has been dubbed “America’s Oldest Fourth of July Celebration.” The patriotic events began after the Revolutionary War and just entered its 234th year. Forget 4th of July weekend – residents of Bristol begin festivities on Flag Day, June 14, and last all the way through to the 2.5-mile July 4th parade.
No matter where you live it is almost impossible to avoid hearing fireworks – even if just from a distance. According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, around 15,000 fireworks displays take place for the Fourth of July holiday every year (even they aren’t exactly on July 4th). Prices vary, but most small towns spend anywhere from $8000-$15,000 on their fireworks display, with larger cities going into the millions, like the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular that averages more than $2 million.