Independence Day, commonly called “The Fourth of July,” always occurs on July 4 and is never subject to the common practice of celebrating national holidays on Mondays. It is the most important official national holiday, the birthday of the United States of America. When Independence Day falls midweek, some of the festivities may occur on the previous or subsequent weekend, depending on community.
The American Revolution against Great Britain began in 1775. On July 4, 1776, after much struggle and compromise, delegates from the thirteen original American states, meeting in Philadelphia, officially adopted the Declaration of Independence, written by Virginian Thomas Jefferson. After a long and bitter war, the Americans were victorious. The Kingdom of Great Britain recognized the independence of the new nation in 1783.
Americans and American communities celebrate Independence Day with parades, political speeches, patriotic music, patriotic films, display of flags, and much exhibition of the national colors, red, white and blue, as well as the national symbols, the American eagle and Uncle Sam.
When families get together on the Fourth of July, they often have picnics (using red, white, and blue and flag-themed paper goods), barbecues, softball games, and, where legal, set off their own fireworks. Communities and businesses sponsor fireworks displays, which, in the large cities, may cost many millions of dollars. In many communities, expect fireworks to go off in the background beginning shortly before the Fourth of July and continuing for weeks afterwards, as long as the supply lasts.
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