Millions of Americans all over the world have celebrated their Independence Day.
Held on Each year on 4 July, it remembers the events in 1776 when Americans broke away from being ruled by the British, who had been on the continent since the 16th Century.
The occasion is normally marked by lots of parades, concerts and food-filled celebrations with friends and family. Work places and schools are closed for the day so people can join in with the festivities.
Famous landmarks are lit up with bright lights and spectacular fireworks displays can be seen in some of America’s biggest cities.
While it may be Independence Day for people in America on 4 July, there are many countries all over the world which have their own independence days. For example, 11 November is Independence Day in Angola, when the country celebrates the date in 1975 from when it was no longer ruled by the Portuguese.
America’s Independence Day
Back in 1776 America was divided up into 13 colonies:
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island and Providence
- New York
- New Jersey
People who lived there used to have to pay taxes to Britain, even though they didn’t have anybody representing them in Parliament.
In June 1776, a group called the Colonies’ Second Continental Congress came together in Philadelphia in cut ties with Britain. The document was written and tweaked and rewritten until – after 86 changes – everybody was happy. The final version was finished on 4 July 1776 and the colonies declared themselves no longer part of the British Empire.
The very next day, the document – called the Declaration of Independence – was sent around to everyone.
Fighting between the Americans and the British did carry on after this date, but a few years later the British Parliament also officially recognised America’s independence.