Origins of Fourth of July

July 4th
Celebrating Independence Day in the United States

Independence Day is regarded as the birthday of the United States as a free and independent nation. Most Americans simply call it the "Fourth of July," on which date it always falls.

The holiday recalls the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. At that time, the people of the 13 British colonies located along the eastern coast of what is now the United States were involved in a war over what they considered unjust treatment by the king and parliament in Britain. The war began in 1775. As the war continued, the colonists realized that they were fighting not just for better treatment; they were fighting for freedom from England's rule. The Declaration of Independence, signed by leaders from the colonies, stated this clearly, and for the first time in an official document the colonies were referred to as the United States of America.

In the United States, July 4th is a day of picnics and patriotic parades, a night of concerts and fireworks. The flying of the American flag (which also occurs on Memorial Day and other holidays) is widespread.


An American flag flies on the USS Constitution,
while she sails the annual Fourth of July
Turnaround Cruise in Boston harbor.
The Constitution was originally launched in 1797



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