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Celebrating Independence Day through the years

Posted at 7:07 PM, Jul 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-04 22:07:30-04

Today, Americans across the country celebrate the 246th birthday of the United States.

America, and the world, is a very different place now than it was at the founding. Even in the early years, hints of how we celebrate can already be found.

The US Census Bureau estimates the 1776 Colonial America population was about 2.5 million. Comparable in size to Chicago.

In terms of land mass, it was already a large country, the borders of the collective thirteen colonies were about 1.5% of the world’s land mass, which is about the size of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

According to the Smithsonian magazine, the founding fathers celebrated July 4, 1776 in the Philadelphia City Tavern, which is still in operation today. We don’t know exactly what they ate that day, but at the time, elites like Thomas Jefferson were into everything French.

It is said that Jefferson was instrumental in introducing both french fries and macaroni and cheese into the American diet.

Most Americans at the time drank Madeira wine, a fortified wine like port, it was the Coca-Cola of the day. The British Tea Act of 1773, and a certain party in Boston harbor were the first events that put coffee on a path to surpassing tea as another American drink of choice.

Fast forwarding 100 years to 1876 and the US population grew to 46 million, 70 times bigger. The country at the time growing to the size of what Spain is today.

The country was almost at its full extent, having a land area comparable to Australia.

Even back then, food traditions we know now are starting to take shape. According to the Henry Ford Museum, in 1876 many Americans would have celebrated the Fourth of July with a traditional picnic that included a main course of fried chicken Heinz Ketchup began production in that year as well. A drink of choice could have been lemonade or for those looking for something harder, they may have reached for a Tom Collins.

Today, the US Population is estimated to be 332 million, a six-fold increase in one hundred years and third in the world. The country is the fourth largest in the world, taking up 6.1% of the world’s land mass.

As far as celebrating the fourth, the company Instacart lists what most of us already know, American’s go for hot dogs and hamburgers. In a difference from last year however, Instacart says that the drink of choice this summer for Americans is canned cocktails.