Independence Day

Writing the Declaration of Independence (1776)

Independence Day is an annual holiday commemorating the the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia.

The holiday was first observed in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776, at which time the Declaration of Independence was read aloud, city bells rang, and bands played. It was not declared a legal holiday, however, until 1941.

The Fourth is traditionally celebrated publicly with parades and pageants, patriotic speeches, and organized firing of guns and cannons and displays of fireworks. Family picnics and outings are a feature of private Fourth of July celebrations.


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