Independence Day, or the Fourth of July, is celebrated every year in the United States to remember the passage of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress in 1776. The Congress voted to declare independence from Great Britain on July 2, 1776. Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence (with some help from John Adams and others). He finished the declaration and it was adopted on the 4th.
In the nation’s early days, Independence Day was more political than it is today. It was celebrated with speeches, toasts, and ceremonies that were used to discuss political issues and to connect political campaigns to the nation’s independence.
Today, Independence Day is celebrated with fireworks, parades, and picnics. It is a big summer celebration for many people in the United States. And while it is no longer as political as it once was, the Fourth of July remains a day of patriotism and national pride.
- History of Independence Day
National Park Service site on the history of Independence Day. Includes information about the Declaration of Independence.
- Today in History: July 4
Library of Congress site on Independence Day, including the history of the Declaration of Independence as well as links to primary sources related to the Declaration and the celebration of Independence Day.