In the United States the fourth of July is celebrated as Independence Day and marks that day that the United States gained independence from England. At the time of its independence, the United States so far only consisted of the 13 original colonies. In the US Independence Day is usually celebrated by many people getting the day off of work and spending time with their families having barbecues and spending time outside. It is also common for people to decorate using the colors of the American flag: red, white, and blue. Streamers and American flags are often used as decorations and many people choose to wear red, white, and blue clothing that day.
The fourth of July, as Independence Day is also called, is most known for the traditional setting off of fireworks. Though many states prohibit individual fireworks, municipalities will often have impressive fireworks displays that they provide for residents. Families and friends will gather and sit on law chairs or blankets as they watch the colored explosions in the air. Some cities will also have parades or other public events and ceremonies.
The fourth of July is the most American of celebrations and one that visitors (such as au pairs) are extremely interested in. While food, family and fireworks are common in many countries, the surge of patriotism and pride that citizens feel and share with each on that day is an experience that is not to be missed.
Though most Americans are very familiar with the holiday, here are some Independence Day facts that even the biggest patriots may not be aware of:
- Though July 4 marks the day that the Declaration of Independence was adopted, most historians believe that it wasn’t actually signed until about a month later.
- Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson – the only two signers of the Declaration of Independence who were also United States presidents, dies on July 4, 1826, which was coincidentally the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
- Calvin Coolidge is so far the only United States president who was born on July 4. He was born in 1872.
- July 4 was first recognized as a state celebration by Massachusetts in 1781.
- 10 years later, in 1791, was the first time July 4 was called “Independence Day” (or at least the first time it was recorded).
- The oldest continually held Independence Day celebration is in Bristol, Rhode Island. The celebration has been held since 1785.
- In 1870 the United States Congress declared July 4 a federal holiday…
- But it wasn’t until 1941 that they expanded the provision to give the day off to federal employees.
Whether you were born in the United States, or have never been here, the fourth of July can be fun to celebrate no matter where you are from!