It 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. Independence Day is the National Day of the United States, Congress debated and revised the wording of the Declaration, finally approving it two days later on July 4. A day earlier, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail, The second day of July,1776, I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, adamss prediction was off by two days. Most historians have concluded that the Declaration was signed nearly a month after its adoption, on August 2,1776, although not a signer of the Declaration of Independence, James Monroe, another Founding Father who was elected as President, also died on July 4,1831. He was the third President in a row who died on the anniversary of independence, calvin Coolidge, the 30th President, was born on July 4,1872, so far he is the only U. S. President to have been born on Independence Day. In 1777 thirteen gunshots were fired in salute, once at morning and once again as evening fell, on July 4 in Bristol, ships in port were decked with red, white, and blue bunting. In 1778, from his headquarters at Ross Hall, near New Brunswick, New Jersey, General George Washington marked July 4 with a ration of rum for his soldiers. Across the Atlantic Ocean, ambassadors John Adams and Benjamin Franklin held a dinner for their fellow Americans in Paris, in 1779, July 4 fell on a Sunday. The holiday was celebrated on Monday, July 5, in 1781 the Massachusetts General Court became the first state legislature to recognize July 4 as a state celebration. In 1783, Moravians in Salem, North Carolina, held a celebration of July 4 with a music program assembled by Johann Friedrich Peter. This work was titled The Psalm of Joy and this is recognized as the first recorded celebration and is still celebrated there today. In 1870 the U. S. Congress made Independence Day an unpaid holiday for federal employees, in 1938 Congress changed Independence Day to a paid federal holiday. Independence Day is a holiday marked by patriotic displays. Similar to other summer-themed events, Independence Day celebrations often take place outdoors, Independence Day is a federal holiday, so all non-essential federal institutions are closed on that day. Many politicians make it a point on day to appear at a public event to praise the nations heritage, laws, history, society. Families often celebrate Independence Day by hosting or attending a picnic or barbecue, many take advantage of the day off and, in some years, decorations are generally colored red, white, and blue, the colors of the American flag
Displays of fireworks, such as these over the Washington Monument in 1986, take place across the United States on Independence Day.
American children of many ethnic backgrounds celebrate noisily in 1902 Puck cartoon
An 1825 invitation to an Independence Day celebration