Join us via Zoom for an Independence Day cook-along this Sunday, July 4th at 11 am! We’ll be sharing a few of our favorite historical and family recipes and testing your knowledge with special Independence Day trivia (developed by our Family Programs Teen Leaders!).
Below are some trivia questions to get you ready for the day! You’ll also see photos of past Independence Day celebrations we’ve had at the Museum.
1. True or False: Fireworks were first used to celebrate July 4th in the 1950s.
2. Which state was the first to declare July 4th, Independence Day a state holiday?
3. Which US president was born on July 4th?
- George Washington
- Barack Obama
- Thomas Jefferson
- Calvin Coolidge
4. When did the Fourth of July become a federal holiday?
5. Where was the Declaration of Independence signed?
- New York
- Washington D.C.
We also asked our Family Programs Teen Leaders to share their favorite food traditions for July 4th. Check out their picks (and pics!) below.
Courtney is 16 years old and has been part of the N-YHS teen programs community since autumn of 2019. She is currently a junior in high school and spends a lot of time reading and studying. When she isn’t doing school work or interning, she usually spends time with her siblings, drinking lavender chamomile tea, or taking care of her plants. Her favorite plants are peace lilies, lupines, and orchids.
Every July 4th (with the exception of 2020), I spend time visiting friends and family around Brooklyn. I usually spend the whole day outside eating, babysitting, and waiting for the Macy’s fireworks show to start. The day is also spent eating endless amounts of barbecue and burgers. In my family, our July 4th food tradition is always baking or eating a cake together after the parties we attend. Usually the cake involves lots of strawberries and whipped cream. This food tradition is special to my family because it’s the chance for all of us to savor delicious sweets. I look forward to spending this July 4th baking with my brother and sister!
Luciana Ganshaw is currently in 11th grade at the Queens High School for the Sciences at York College. She’s an intern in the Family Programs division at the New-York Historical Society. Some of her hobbies include dancing, baking, and making jewelry.
Whether you’re celebrating Fourth of July for the history or the food, it is a perfect time for fun traditions. My family does all sorts of fun activities on the holiday. Some years, we go to my Aunt and Uncle’s house in Long Island. They have a pool and a huge backyard, as well as several dogs, so we’re always super excited to see them. Other years, we go to Roosevelt Island, and have a picnic together after visiting all the playgrounds.
The Fourth of July is famous for its great food, which makes it difficult to pick one favorite. However, if I had to choose just one, I’d have to say watermelon! It’s the perfect snack for the summertime; it’s juicy, sweet, and also has tons of health benefits, like keeping you hydrated on a hot day. Watermelon is also a great snack for people who may have dietary restrictions, such as those who are vegan, or can’t eat gluten, meaning everyone can join in on the fun. I have so many fond memories of eating a nice slice of watermelon with my family on the Fourth of July, and I look forward to making many more!
Sumaya Bouhbal is 17 years old and currently a Junior Drama Major at the Professional Performing Arts School. She works at the New-York Historical Society as one of the Family Programs Interns. Summer is her absolute favorite time of year! She looks forward to enjoying a lively Fourth of July on a hot summer day.
My favorite Independence Day food tradition is to barbecue. Burgers are my favorite barbecue food and my Dad grills the best burgers! Every year (with the exception of the 2020), my family throws a big barbecue to celebrate the holiday. We always invite everyone in my family and all of our friends to our cookout. Most of our guests bring something to share with everyone. For example, one of my aunts always makes a big pot of Spanish rice and my older brother always brings apple pie. Regardless of what dishes our guests decide to bring, you can always find me by the grill reaching for another one of my Dad’s delicious burgers.
Hope to see you online this Sunday, July 4 at 11 am for recipes and more trivia!
1) FALSE. Many sources say fireworks have been used to celebrate July 4th as early as 1777!
2) Massachusetts on July 3, 1781
3) Calvin Coolidge, in 1872. (You might have been tricked by the Thomas Jefferson choice, but Jefferson died on July 4, 1826.)
4) 1870 (Almost 100 years after the Declaration of Independence was read aloud near Bowling Green in New York on July 9, 1776!)
5) In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on August 2, 1776