The Fourth of July
On July 4th, the United States celebrates Independence Day. But more often, this holiday is called the Fourth of July. It celebrates the beginning of the country’s freedom.
Much of North America once belonged to Britain. The regions were called “colonies”. The people were British subjects. Many of them became unhappy with this. They had to pay taxes to the British government, but they had no representatives in Parliament. They got the idea of starting an independent country.
In 1776, people from thirteen colonies met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They decided to write a Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson, who was later President, wrote this document. On July 4th, they voted to adopt it.
The Revolutionary War followed. Britain fought to keep its colonies, but surrendered in 1781.
Since the beginning, Americans have celebrated July 4th as the day of their independence. Early celebrations often had parades and fireworks. So do most Fourth of July celebrations today. The fireworks are often in the country’s colors: red, white, and blue.
Most people have the day off. They like to go to their town’s celebrations and spend time with their families. Many people also go to the beach, or have a picnic or barbecue.
At times, someone suggests that Independence Day should be moved to the nearest Monday to make a long weekend. But most Americans don’t want this. For them, the Fourth of July is an important date.