4th of July 2020 is bound to be different than prior years. While you may not be able to celebrate how you normally would with family or friends, I hope you are still able to find some ways to enjoy the day. You may be able to see fireworks, but if not, maybe the picture below will bring back memories of past celebrations.
As many of you may have already guessed, growing up, I was fascinated with random facts and figures. The subject or fact did not really matter, the more random they were, the better. I had a swim coach in high school who I would constantly try and stump to no avail. It was only after I got to know his mother while at Notre Dame that I learned he was a trivia buff his entire life and was full of ‘useless’ knowledge. Even with the Internet, it is going on 20 years without stumping him. With the 4th of July upon us, I thought I would share some interesting trivia:
- Thomas Jefferson was the main author of the Declaration of Independence. Four others were also on the committee: Roger Sherman, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Robert Livingston.
- John Hancock was the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence. He made his mark in the center and it is the largest signature on the document, likely because he was President of Congress at the time, according to the National Archives. This is the reason today people ask for your ‘John Hancock’ when requesting you to sign something.
- Independence Day should have been celebrated on July 2, 1776. Although the document was dated July 4, congress voted for independence from Great Britain two days prior on July 2, 1776. Interestingly, the document was not signed by everyone until August 2, 1776.
- An estimated 2.5 million people lived in the nation in July 1776. This would be the approximate population of Chicago (2.67M) or Houston (2.38M) as of 2019.
- Three presidents who signed the Declaration of Independence died on July 4th. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826 — on the 50th anniversary of the country’s independence. James Monroe died five years later on July 4, 1831.
- The country’s 30th Commander-in-Chief, Calvin Coolidge, was born on July 4, 1872.
- The very first 4th of July fireworks show took place in Philadelphia in 1777.
- According to a 2017 American Pyrotechnics Association projection, around 15,000 fireworks displays occur for the Fourth of July holiday.
- Americans consume about 150 million hot dogs while celebrating Independence Day. To give some perspective of that amount, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, that number of hot dogs consumed can stretch from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles more than five times.
In the holiday shortened week, the market as measured by the S&P 500 increased approximately 4%. For the second quarter 2020, the S&P 500 increased approximately 19.9% for its best quarterly gain since the fourth quarter of 1998. While we do not know what the next six months hold, given the stock market is driven by fear and greed, it has very human-like qualities, which means history may be a guide for what may happen next. In March 2003, stocks hit a major low before a huge spike into early summer, when stocks consolidated—or sat on their gains—during the summer months, followed by an eventual move higher later in the year. There was a very similar reaction in the summer of 2009 after the March 2009 bear market lows. So far in 2020 we have had the March lows and a huge rally, so historically, a summertime pullback or consolidation would be normal—and maybe even healthy.
Enjoy the 4th and please stay safe and healthy.
Chris Zeches, CFP®