Today, July 4th is Independence Day!
Independence Day is an important federal holiday in the United States that commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. The day marks the historical event when the United States of America declared its independence from the rule of Great Britain.
The declaration was adopted on July 4, 1776 therefore the holiday is commonly referred to as the Fourth of July or July Fourth.
On July 2, 1776 the Second Continental Congress approved the Lee Resolution, also known as the resolution of independence. The text of the document formally announcing separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain and explaining this decision, the Declaration of Independence, was approved on July 4.
The text of the Declaration had been prepared by the Committee of Five, Thomas Jefferson being the principal author. The anniversary of the Declaration would come to be celebrated as Independence Day in the United States.
The first celebration of July 4 occurred in 1777. However, Independence Day had not become an official holiday until 1870 when Congress made it an unpaid holiday for federal employees. In 1938, it was changed to a paid federal holiday.
Independence Day celebrations include patriotic displays, political ceremonies and speeches, parades, concerts, carnivals, fairs. Family reunions often occur on this day; many families host or attend picnics or barbecues. In the evening, firework displays traditionally occur. Fireworks may be accompanied by patriotic songs. Major firework displays are in New York City, Chicago, San Diego, Boston, St. Louis, San Francisco, Detroit, and Washington, D.C.
Independence Day also is a public holiday in some of the United States unincorporated territories, namely Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, United States Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.
However you plan to celebrate Independence Day, enjoy yourselves and ensure you make the most of the extra days holiday!