By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
U.S. Independence Day, also known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States and the adoption of that country’s July 4, 1776 Declaration of Independence.
On that date, the Continentals Congress declared the 13 American colonies an independent nation that was no longer a part of the British Empire, although the congress had actually voted to separate from Britain two days earlier.
At the root of the colonies’ declaration was their inconformity with the idea of taxation by the British Crown without representation, which led to an eight-year Revolutionary War.
The signing of the U.S. Declaration of Independence did not, in fact, end that war.
The conflict continued until the 1783 Treaty of Paris.
Even after the Treaty of Paris, the Fourth of July was not always observed as a national holiday for decades to come, although in some parts of the country it has been celebrated with fireworks, speeches and parties since the 18th century.
The U.S. Congress declared the day an unpaid national holiday for federal workers in 1870, and in 1938 it became a paid holiday across the country.
Over the years, the significance of the day has transformed and become a symbol of the United States’ unfailing commitment to democracy and freedom for its people.
Today, fireworks displays and picnics are the most well-known activities associated with the holiday.
All major cities in the United States offer fireworks displays and there is also one given by the White House.
Happy Fourth of July to the United States and all her citizens, at home and abroad.