Americans Celebrate Independence with Parties, Fireworks

Posted July 4th, 2011 at 4:25 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Americans are celebrating Independence Day Monday — the anniversary of the day 235 years ago that the country's founding fathers formally declared independence from Britain.

On the day known informally as the Fourth of July, U.S. citizens celebrate with parades, fireworks, picnics, ballgames and concerts. Fourth of July decorations feature the colors of the American flag — red, white, and blue.

Traditional fireworks will light up the nighttime skies over small towns and major cities, including Washington, New York and Philadelphia, where the Declaration of Independence was signed.

One hundred new citizens will be sworn in at Mount Vernon, the home of the first U.S. president George Washington. The current president, Barack Obama, will host members of the military and their families for an evening White House barbecue and concert.

On a lighter note, New York City's beach resort area, Coney Island, celebrated July 4 with an annual hot dog-eating contest. Contenders had 10 minutes to eat as many hot dogs and buns as possible. World champion Joey Chestnut won for the fifth year in a row, eating 62 hot dogs. The women's winner, Sonya Thomas, ate 40 hot dogs.

Drafted by Thomas Jefferson of Virginia in June 1776, the Declaration of Independence is the nation's most cherished symbol of liberty.

On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress formally approved a resolution of independence from Britain. Then, it set about making revisions to Jefferson's draft declaration, finally approving the document on July 4.