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.
- 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.
- Only John Hancock actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. All the others signed later.
- The average age of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence was 45. The youngest was Thomas Lynch, Jr (27) of South Carolina. The oldest delegate was Benjamin Franklin (70) of Pennsylvania. The lead author of The Declaration, Thomas Jefferson, was 33.
- One out of eight signers of the Declaration of Independence were educated at Harvard (7 total).
- The only two signers of the Declaration of Independence who later served as President of the United States were John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
- The stars on the original American flag were in a circle so all the Colonies would appear equal.
- The White House held its first 4th July party in 1801.
- President John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe all died on the Fourth. Adams and Jefferson (both signed the Declaration) died on the same day within hours of each other in 1826.
- Fifty-nine places in the U.S. contain the word “liberty” in the name. Pennsylvania, with 11, has more of these places than any other state. Of the 59 places nationwide containing “liberty” in the name, four are counties: Liberty County, Ga. (65,471), Liberty County, Fla. (8,276), Liberty County, Mont. (2,392) and Liberty County, Texas (76,571).
- The most common patriotic-sounding word used within place names is “union” with 136. Pennsylvania, with 33, has more of these places than any other state. Other words most commonly used in place names are Washington (127), Franklin (118), Jackson (96) and Lincoln (95).
- In 2012, vast majority of imported U.S. flags ($3.6 million) was made in China.