Each year on July 4, The United States celebrates Independence Day.
This day is a federal holiday which commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.
Political speeches and ceremonies along with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, baseball games, class reunions and family reunions take place all across the country celebrating our independence.
Along with the fireworks, there are songs associated with the Fourth of July holiday, some of which include: our National Anthem – “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “God Bless America,” “America the Beautiful,” “My Country, Tis of Thee,” “This Land Is Your Land,” “Stars and Stripes Forever,” “God Bless the U.S.A.,” “Yankee Doodle” and “Dixie.”
HOW TO OBSERVE
- At noon, a “Salute to the Union” is fired, each Independence Day, by any capable military base. This is a salute of one gun for each state in the United States.
- In 2009, New York City hosted the largest fireworks display in the country.
- Held since 1785, the Bristol Fourth of July Parade in Bristol, Rhode Island is the oldest continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States.
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- July 4, 1777 – The First Anniversary – Bristol, Rhode Island, fired thirteen gunshots in salute: once at morning and once again at evening. Philadelphia hosted an official dinner for the Continental Congress, toasts, 13-gun salutes, speeches, prayers, music, parades, troop reviews, and fireworks. Ships were decorated with red, white and blue bunting.
- July 4, 1778 – General George Washington gave his soldiers a double ration of rum and an artillery salute. On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, ambassadors John Adams and Benjamin Franklin hosted a dinner for their fellow Americans in Paris, France.
- July 4, 1779 – The holiday fell on a Sunday, so the celebrations were held on Monday, July 5.
- July 4, 1781 – The Massachusetts General Court became the first state legislature to recognize July 4 as a state celebration.
- July 4, 1783 – Moravians in Salem, North Carolina held a celebration with a challenging music program assembled by Johann Friedrich Peter. The work was titled “The Psalm of Joy”.
- July 4, 1791 – The first recorded use of the name “Independence Day” occurred.
- July 4, 1820 – The first Fourth of July celebration in Eastport Maine was held, and it remains the largest in the state.
- July 4, 1870 – The United States Congress made Independence Day an unpaid holiday for federal employees.
- July 4, 1938 – The United States Congress changed Independence Day to a paid federal holiday.