Independence Day is also known as the Fourth of July. It is the national day of the United States and commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, which declared independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.
During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence. After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the Declaration, finally approving it on July 4.
All non-essential federal institutions (like the postal service and federal courts) are closed on that day. Many politicians make it a point on this day to appear at a public event to praise the nation's heritage, laws, history, society, and people.
Celebrations often take place outdoors. Families commonly celebrate Independence Day by hosting or attending a picnic or barbecue and take advantage of the day off and, in some years, the long weekend to gather with relatives. The holiday is marked by patriotic displays. Decorations (e.g., streamers, balloons, and clothing) are generally coloured red, white and blue, the colours of the American flag. There are parades in the morning and fireworks occur in the evening at such places as parks, fairgrounds, or town squares. The fireworks are often accompanied by patriotic songs such as the national anthem "The Star-Spangled Banner" or "God Bless America".
Also, a salute of one gun for each state in the United States, called a “salute to the union,” is fired on Independence Day at noon by any capable military base.