For many, the 4th of July is a time to relax in the sun, enjoy a few drinks, and watch fireworks with family and friends. But the history of Independence Day is much richer and more exciting than one might believe. Here are 10 fun facts about the U.S. birthday that might surprise family and friends.

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1. Independence Wasn't Declared on the 4th

It is widely believed that America declared independence from Britain on July 4, 1776. However, the official vote actually took place two days before, and the “Declaration” was published in papers on July 4.

2. The Designer of the 50-Star Flag Lived in Ohio

In 1958, a history teacher assigned a class to redesign the national flag as both Alaska and Hawaii neared statehood. Robert G. Heft, then 16, designed a new flag using the old 48-star flag and $2.87 worth of materials. His design became the official flag in 1960.

3. Americans Will Enjoy 150 Million Hot Dogs During the 4th

According to the National Sausage and Hot Dog Council, Americans are expected to eat 150 million hot dogs over the July 4th holiday.

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4. Only Two Men Signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776

Charles Thompson and John Hancock were the only two men who actually signed the Declaration on July 4, 1776. The other 54 delegates signed over the course of the next month.

5. There is Something Written on the Back of the Declaration of Independence

According to the History Channel, a simple message is written upside-down across the bottom of the signed document that reads, "Original Declaration of Independence dated 4th July 1776.

6. One Signer Later Recanted the Declaration of Independence

Richard Stockton, a lawyer from New Jersey, became the only signer to recant his support of the revolution after being captured and abused by the British.

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7. The "Laptop" of the 18th Century

Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration on a writing desk that could fit over one's lap, known at the time as a "laptop."

8. Men Love Fireworks... $1 Billion Worth

Americans spend more than $1 billion on fireworks each year, with almost 70% of firework-related injuries occurring in men.

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9. Fireworks = An American Tradition Dating Back to 1777

Fireworks have been a tradition of Independence Day since the first anniversary in 1777. John Adams wanted the day to be celebrated with pomp, parade, shows, and "Illuminations."

10. A Bizarre 50th Anniversary

Thomas Jefferson, 82, and John Adams, 90, both died on July 4, 1826, within five hours of each other on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Now that you're armed with these 10 fun facts and some must-have gear, go forth and enjoy your barbecue. Happy 4th of July from Dinosaurized!

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