The History of the Fourth of July

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The Fourth of July — also known as Independence Day or July 4th — has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th Century and the American Revolution.

On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence from Britain, and two days later delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson.

From 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.

But, there is a lot more to this most American of holidays. Click on the links for a package from

A History of Independence Day

• Early Fourth of July Celebrations

Fourth of July Becomes a Federal Holiday

A Photo Gallery: The Founding Fathers


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