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Lesson Transcript

Top 10 US Holidays—Independence Day
The Fourth of July, also known as Independence Day in the United States, is typically celebrated by fireworks displays all over the country. Some of the most-watched fireworks displays include those at the National Mall and at Mount Rushmore. Many towns and locales have their own fireworks displays on the evening of the fourth, and Americans typically have backyard barbecues and celebrations in honor of their country's independence. Americans also enjoy setting off fireworks themselves, although this is banned or restricted in many parts of the country. In some areas there are so many fireworks being set off by private residents that police can do little, if anything, to enforce the law, which was put in place for safety reasons.
Independence Day dates back to 1776, which was the day the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence for the United States. However, it wasn't until 1781 when the states started to pick it up as a state holiday. Massachusetts was the first state to do so. The very first celebration of Independence Day was held in Maine in 1820, and Congress made the Fourth of July an official federal holiday in 1870. However, federal employees did not receive pay for the day off until 1838.
The week or especially the weekend around the Fourth of July is typically a very busy travel day in the United States because many Americans travel to see friends and family, making a long weekend out of the holiday.Boating and camping are two activities often enjoyed for Independence Day.