Independence Day in the United States is an annual celebration of the passage of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.
The marking of the first day of independence during the summer of 1776 took the form of a mock funeral of the king, whose "death" symbolized the end of monarchy and tyranny and the beginning of liberty.
In the first few years of the republic, Independence Day was celebrated with parades, oratory, and toasting in ceremonies.
The Fourth of July commemoration became a patriotic tradition which many groups wanted to claim, such as the abolitionists, women's rights advocates, and the temperance movement.
The rise of leisure meant the Fourth of July emerged as a major midsummer holiday. Heavy drinking and many fireworks injuries prompted reformers of the late 19th and early 20th century to start a Safe and Sane Fourth of July movement.
During the later 20th century, this day became less important as a venue for politics. However, it remains an important symbol of national power and freedom.
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