Independence Day is a federal holiday in the United States every 4 July. It celebrates the date when the original 13 colonies declared independence from Great Britain in 1776. It is popularly known as “Fourth of July.”
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In reality, the War for Independence had begun already in 1775, but the American colonies were very reluctant to make the final break with Great Britain. But finally, on 2 July 1776, the Continental Congress convened and voted for independence. Two days later, the final form of the Declaration of Independence was approved and made public.
The Declaration of Independence was approved unanimously by delegates representing the 13 American colonies at the Second Continental Congress. This significant step conveyed in no uncertain terms the grievances of the American people against King George III and the British parliament.
After this clarion call, militia and continental army soldiers would continue to battle British forces for another seven years until the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783. This treaty saw Britain recognize the sovereignty of the United States and end the war.
It wasn’t until 1870 that Independence Day became an off-work day for federal employees, and only in 1941 did it become a paid off-day. But it had been celebrated by all long before that.
Today, most Americans observe “The Fourth of July” with picnics, barbecues, family get togethers, long weekends with a trip to the beach, and above all, with attendance at a local fireworks display. Some of the most spectacular of these displays are televised, but they take place in almost every community.
Additionally, some will attend parties with games like tug-o-war or sack races, watch or partake in hot dog eating contests, or spend time at a baseball game enjoying the “American pastime.”
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