American Independence day

American Independence day

Today, July 4th is Independence Day!

Independence Day is an important federal holiday in the United States that commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. The day marks the historical event when the United States of America declared its independence from the rule of Great Britain.

The declaration was adopted on July 4, 1776 therefore the holiday is commonly referred to as the Fourth of July or July Fourth.

On July 2, 1776 the Second Continental Congress approved the Lee Resolution, also known as the resolution of independence. The text of the document formally announcing separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain and explaining this decision, the Declaration of Independence, was approved on July 4.

The text of the Declaration had been prepared by the Committee of Five, Thomas Jefferson being the principal author. The anniversary of the Declaration would come to be celebrated as Independence Day in the United States.

The first celebration of July 4 occurred in 1777. However, Independence Day had not become an official holiday until 1870 when Congress made it an unpaid holiday for federal employees. In 1938, it was changed to a paid federal holiday.

Independence Day celebrations include patriotic displays, political ceremonies and speeches, parades, concerts, carnivals, fairs. Family reunions often occur on this day; many families host or attend picnics or barbecues. In the evening, firework displays traditionally occur. Fireworks may be accompanied by patriotic songs. Major firework displays are in New York City, Chicago, San Diego, Boston, St. Louis, San Francisco, Detroit, and Washington, D.C.

Independence Day also is a public holiday in some of the United States unincorporated territories, namely Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, United States Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.

However you plan to celebrate Independence Day, enjoy yourselves and ensure you make the most of the extra days holiday!

Independence Day

Independence Day, or July 4, honors the birthday of the United States of America. On this day in 1776 the Declaration of Independence was adopted at the Second Continental Congress. Today, Americans celebrate our nation’s independence with parades, fireworks, patriotic songs, and readings of the Declaration of Independence.

The Declaration of Independence and Independence Day are important in the United States and prospective citizens may see them in several places on the naturalization test. There are six questions on the civics test on these two topics, including, “What did the Declaration of Independence do?” and “When do we celebrate Independence Day?”. Independence Day is also one of the holidays that applicants may be required to read or write as part of the English test.

For Independence Day, we want to highlight some of the resources USCIS offers for learners and teachers that are related to this important day.

 

Learners

USCIS has educational materials to help you learn about the United States and prepare for the naturalization process. Here are several products that refer to Independence Day:

 

Teachers

In addition to the products highlighted above, USCIS offers free online tools and materials for educators and volunteers. Some examples include:

10 Facts About Independence Day

We’ve compiled some fun facts about Independence Day that you can use to impress your friends while watching fireworks and celebrating America’s birthday.

  • Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on a “laptop” – that is, a writing desk that could fit in his lap.
  • Jefferson changed the wording of the Declaration of Independence from “the pursuit of property” to “the pursuit of happiness.”
  • John Adams and Jefferson, both signers of the Declaration of Independence, died on July 4, 1826. James Monroe also died on July 4th in 1831.
  • Only two people actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 – John Hancock and Charles Thompson.
  • Congress declared July 4th as an official holiday in 1870 as part of a bill to officially recognize other holidays, including Christmas.
  • At 27, Thomas Lynch, Jr., was the youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence; Ben Franklin, age 70, was the oldest signer.
  • The oldest, continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States is the 4th of July Parade in Bristol, Rhode Island which began in 1785.
  • The Pennsylvania Evening Post was the first newspaper to print the Declaration of Independence.
  • Americans began observing the Fourth of July as early as 1777 with a celebration in Philadelphia that included a parade, a thirteen-shot cannon salute, and fireworks.
  • Eight of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were born in Britain.

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