Independence Day

USA Public Holidays On the Fouth of July, Americans celebrate their country’s birthday

Independence Day in the U.S. is celebrated on fouth of July
Image credit: miflippo / 123RF Stock Photo

When is Independence Day?

This national holiday is celebrated on the Fourth of July. If Independence Day falls on a weekend, then the previous Friday or following Monday will be a holiday.

As this is a Federal holiday, not only will schools and libraries be closed, most federal and state offices will also be closed and there will be no mail deliveries on Independence Day

History of Independence Day

On July 4, 1776, the United States of America proclaimed its independence from England by signing the Declaration of Independence.

While the signing of the Declaration itself was not completed until August, the Fourth of July holiday is seen as the official anniversary of U.S. independence.

Although Philadelphians marked the first anniversary of independence in 1777 with spontaneous celebrations in the streets of Philadelphia, the first recorded use of the name "Independence Day" wasn't until 1791 and Independence Day celebrations only became common after the War of 1812.

By the 1870’s, Independence Day had become the most important secular holiday on the American calendar and has transformed into what is known as the 4th of July today.

In 1870, The U.S. Congress made Independence Day an unpaid holiday for federal employees, though it wasn't until 1941 that Congress declared Independence Day to be a paid federal holiday.

How is Independence Day celebrated?

This Independence Day, there will be parades, barbecues, picnics and fireworks throughout the country.

Facts about the Fourth of July

  • The Declaration of Independence was signed by only two people on July 4 1776 - John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most added their signatures on August 2 1776 and there is some evidence that the final signature (Thomas McKean) wasn't added until five years later.
  • The estimated number of hot dogs eaten by Americans on the Fourth of July is 150 million.
  • There is a 49 percent chance that the beans on an American plate for a Fourth of July picnic came from North Dakota or Michigan.
  • There is a 60 percent chance that the corn on the cob eaten by an American for a Fourth of July picnic came from California, Florida, Georgia or New York .
  • One-half of the potatoes made for chips or salad at an Independence Day cookout were grown in Idaho or Washington.

Sources: Office Holidays, U.S. Census Bureau.

More facts about Independence Day

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