Independence Day History
Independence Day commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Independence Day is the most important secular holiday held in the United States. Americans take this day to celebrate all that is American, remembering the great sacrifices of our forefathers as they fought and won our independence from Great Britain. The holiday is also referred to as 4th of July, named after the date on which it is celebrated each year.
Independence Day Facts & Quotes
- Independence was actually declared on July 2. The Declaration of Independence document was dated July 4 and it was signed August 2.
- In July 1776, there were approximately 2.5 million people living in the new nation.
- The first public reading of the Declaration of Independence didn't occur until July 8, 1776. It was sent to the printers on July 4th.
- The original Declaration of Independence can be viewed by visiting the National Archives, Washington D.C. The original copy is severely faded and sits under special glass in the Rotunda for the Chambers of Freedom.
- The Statue of Liberty is a great symbol of American Freedom. It was given to the US by France in 1886. It was delivered in 214 crates and assembled on what is known as Liberty Island, in New York Harbor.
- Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty. - John F. Kennedy
Independence Day Top Events and Things to Do
- Attend or host a Barbeque.
- Watch Fireworks. Large cities such as New York, Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles all have large firework displays.
- Read or recite the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence.
- Watch or attend Nathan's famous Hot Dog eating contest in Coney Island.
- Watch a Parade. Most local cities host parades to celebrate Independence Day.