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Independence Day in the United States

Independence Day is annually celebrated on July 4 and is often known as "the Fourth of July". It is the anniversary of the publication of the declaration of independence from Great Britain in 1776. Patriotic displays and family events are organized throughout the United States.

American flag amidst a street parade
Independence Day is a patriotic holiday celebrated by Americans worldwide.

Celebrate Independence Day

Independence Day is a day of family celebrations with picnics and barbecues, showing a great deal of emphasis on the American tradition of political freedom. Activities associated with the day include watermelon or hotdog eating competitions and sporting events, such as baseball games, three-legged races, swimming activities and tug-of-war games.

Many people display the American flag outside their homes or buildings. Many communities arrange fireworks that are often accompanied by patriotic music. The most impressive fireworks are shown on television. Some employees use one or more of their vacation days to create a long weekend so that they can escape the heat at their favorite beach or vacation spot.

Independence Day is a patriotic holiday for celebrating the positive aspects of the United States. Many politicians appear at public events to show their support for the history, heritage and people of their country. Above all, people in the United States express and give thanks for the freedom and liberties fought by the first generation of many of today's Americans. The Statue of Liberty is a national monument that is associated with Independence Day.

Public Life

Independence Day is a federal holiday. If July 4 is a Saturday, it is observed on Friday, July 3. If July 4 is a Sunday, it is observed on Monday, July 5. Government offices and schools are closed. Some businesses may be closed as well. In some years, many employees use a proportion of their vacation days to create a long weekend. This can cause congestion in some places, particularly towards popular holiday destinations.

There are many public events, parades, shows and fireworks displays. This may cause local disruption to traffic. Public transit systems do not usually operate on their regular timetables.

About Independence Day

In 1775, people in New England began fighting the British for their independence. On July 2, 1776, the Congress secretly voted for independence from Great Britain. Two days later, on July 4, 1776, the final wording of the Declaration of Independence was approved, and the document was published. The first public reading of the Declaration of Independence was on July 8, 1776. Delegates began to sign the Declaration of Independence on August 2, 1776. In 1870, Independence Day was made an unpaid holiday for federal employees. In 1941, it became a paid holiday for them.

The first description of how Independence Day would be celebrated was in a letter from John Adams to his wife Abigail on July 3, 1776. He described "pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations" throughout the United States. However, the term "Independence Day" was not used until 1791.

Interestingly, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, both signers of the Declaration of Independence and presidents of the United States, died on July 4, 1826 - exactly 50 years after the adoption of the declaration. It is also important to note that Native Americans lived in the country and each tribe had its own nation and government prior to the European settlers.

Independence Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday TypeWhere It is Observed
SunJul 42010Independence DayFederal Holiday 
MonJul 52010Independence Day observedFederal Holiday 
MonJul 42011Independence DayFederal Holiday 
WedJul 42012Independence DayFederal Holiday 
ThuJul 42013Independence DayFederal Holiday 
FriJul 42014Independence DayFederal Holiday 
FriJul 32015Independence Day observedFederal Holiday 
SatJul 42015Independence DayFederal Holiday 
MonJul 42016Independence DayFederal Holiday 
TueJul 42017Independence DayFederal Holiday 
WedJul 42018Independence DayFederal Holiday 
ThuJul 42019Independence DayFederal Holiday 
FriJul 32020Independence Day observedFederal Holiday 
SatJul 42020Independence DayFederal Holiday 

Quick Facts

On Independence Day, Americans celebrate the anniversary of publication of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain in 1776.

Independence Day 2018

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Independence Day 2019

Thursday, July 4, 2019


Name in other languages

Independence DayEnglish
Día de la IndependenciaSpanish
יום העצמאות (ארצות הברית)Hebrew
يوم الاستقلال (الولايات المتحدة)Arabic
독립기념일 (미국)Korean
Unabhängigkeitstag (Independence Day)German

Alternative names

Fourth of JulyEnglish
4. juliNorwegian

List of dates for other years

Related holiday

Other holidays in July 2018 in the United States

Fun Holiday on July 4, 2018

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