Independence Day, often known as the Fourth of July, commemorates July 4th, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress ratified the Declaration of Independence. Because the federal holiday falls on a Monday, most individuals will be able to take the day off. Our nation’s independence from Great Britain is commemorated on this day each year. It was on this date in 1776 that all of the thirteen American colonies declared their independence from Great Britain.

On June 7th, 1776, Richard Henry Lee, a member of the Continental Congress, proposed the idea of independence. On July 2nd, 1776, the House of Burgesses passed a resolution known as the Lee Resolution. A proclamation of independence, a request to forge foreign alliances, and “a plan for confederation” are all included in the resolution, according to a document from the US National Archives.

In the year 200 B.C., the first known fireworks were set off. On July 4th, 1777, at the first organized Independence Day celebration in Philadelphia, fireworks were first fired off. A 13-gun salute from the ship’s cannon was fired in honor of the 13 original colonies. “A great display of fireworks (which began and culminated with thirteen rockets) on the Commons, and the city was wonderfully illuminated” was described in the Pennsylvania Evening Post. The Sons of Liberty let off fireworks over Boston Common on the same night.

Post-War 1812, when America faced up against Great Britain, the custom of national-patriotic celebrations gained even more traction. Originally declared a federal holiday in 1870, the 4th of July was expanded to include all federal employees in 1941. Independence Day would lose some of its political significance throughout time, but it remained a significant national holiday and a symbol of American patriotism.

Because it occurs in the middle of the summer, Fourth of July celebrations have become popular since the late nineteenth century as a time for people to unwind and spend time with their families. The American flag and “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the national anthem of the United States, are the most common symbols of the festival.