Americans all over the U.S. will celebrate Independence Day, or the Fourth of July, on Saturday this year.
July 4 marks the decision by the 13 original colonies to renounce British rule and form the United States. But that decision didn’t happen on July 4. It was on July 2, 1776, when representatives of the colonies actually voted for independence.
Two days later, they approved the Declaration of Independence, a document that explained the vote.
Many including President John Adams, the second U.S. president, believed the country should celebrate on July 2, the anniversary of the vote. But copies of the declaration were so widely circulated that July 4 became the day to remember.
Modern Independence Day celebrations have included parades, political speeches, and fireworks, but the 2020 COVID-19 outbreak is forcing changes to many of those traditions.