History Tutor Austin – Conflict between the 13 American colonies and Great Britain had been ongoing for a year when the colonies convened the Second Continental Congress in the summer of 1776 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On July 4, 1776, the colonies claimed their autonomy from Great Britain, leading to the formation of the United States of America. Every year on the Fourth of July, Americans celebrate this historic and epic event as Independence Day.

Celebrated annually in the United States, Independence Day is designated as a national federal holiday and observed by most Americans as a three-day weekend. The Fourth of July commemorates the date when the Declaration of Independence was signed and adopted, declaring America to be an independent country that would no longer be ruled or governed by England.

Most citizens of the United States of America celebrate the July 4th holiday in special ways. The day of national pride and patriotism is a time for Americans across the country to honor the USA in appreciation of the freedoms afforded to citizens. Many people celebrate by flying the American flag, often called the “Stars and Stripes”; they wear the red, white, and blue colors of the flag; and they have barbecues and picnics as well. And no celebration would be complete without a fireworks display, whether viewed outdoors in the local area or viewed on television or streaming online.

Some fun (and educational) celebratory activities people undertake over  the Fourth of July long weekend  include things like visits to American history museums like The Smithsonian in Washington DC, either in-person or virtually or travelling to a historically foundational American city such as Philadelphia, PA where the Liberty Bell is located. Many people brush up on their American history to observe the July 4th holiday, by learning more about the origins of the United States and discussing the Declaration of Independence in greater depth. And some citizens take the time to honor and salute the patriots who helped the United States of America gain its independence by participating in events like Revolutionary War reenactments, Independence Day 5K races, and patriotic parades in their communities. People also gather to listen to popular patriotic music from “God Bless the USA” to “Born in the USA” and more traditional American songs like “America the Beautiful” and the national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner”. And this year might be a good one for inviting neighbors, family, and friends to an outdoor viewing of one or two patriotic movies, such as THE PATRIOT starring Mel Gibson or 1776 with William Daniels in the lead role, before watching the fireworks.

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Written by Erika Mehlhaff