Every 4th of July the U.S. celebrates its Independence Day. In 1781, Massachusetts was the first state that decided to recognize the event as a state holiday. Congress then declared July 4th to be a federal holiday in 1941. The Declaration of Independence marked the end of British rule over America and had 56 signers including Benjamin Franklin and the first President George Washington. Interestingly two of the famous founding fathers John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both passed exactly 50 years to the day after signing the declaration, on July 4, 1826.
Today the United States celebrates its freedom through fun cookouts and massive firework displays. 76% of Americans get together with their families for a barbecue or cookout. Over half of the nation attends one of the 14,000 or more firework events with nearly one quarter of people setting off their own fireworks (even though that is illegal in four states). The largest of all the firework shows is hosted by Macy’s and lights up New York City every year with over 40,000 shells launched from ships in the water using 12,000 pounds of black powder.
Learn more about the 4th of July below and have a happy Independence Day!