Year of 2017

Fourth of July
Independence Day on the beach, Outer Banks, North Carolina

Whether you get out to enjoy a fireworks show put on by your local community, or simply enjoy a backyard picnic with friends and family, there’s no wrong way to celebrate Independence Day in the US. That said, early observances sound familiar: Toasts, 13-gun salutes, parades, and even fireworks were all common by the late 18th century. In fact, Independence Day was fêted on the Fourth of July before we’d even won the war against Great Britain.

Independence Day, also referred to as the Fourth of July or July Fourth, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence 241 years ago on July 4, 1776. The Continental Congress declared that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and were no longer part of the British Empire. The Congress actually voted to declare independence two days earlier, on July 2.