We celebrate on July 4, the date in 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress. But in a letter to his wife, Abigail, John Adams wrote that July 2 would be the day celebrated as “the great anniversary Festival,” as the Continental Congress met that day and voted to approve the resolution for independence. After a draft by Thomas Jefferson and editing by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, it was presented to the Congress two days later. And it wasn’t signed by most of the delegates until Aug. 2. And it didn’t become a legal federal holiday until 1941.
It wouldn’t be Independence Day without fireworks. The bulk of U.S. fireworks are imported from China to the tune of $203.6 million in 2013, out of total imports of $213.8 million, weighing about 180.1 million pounds.
The holiday is also officially celebrated in Denmark each year since 1912 at Rebild National Park. A group of Danish Americans bought 200 acres in 1912 to have a place to celebrate the American holiday with their families and other American expatriates. They donated the land to Denmark and it became the country’s first national park. Each year, Danes and Americans gather for a daylong celebration of food, activities and music in the hills of the park. The Fourth is also celebrated in England, Norway, Portugal and Sweden, according to the International Business Times.