In the USA, 4th July is a national holiday when Americans everywhere celebrate the Declaration of Independence. In 1775 there were thirteen colonies in America, established by the British and still ruled by the British monarch. The colonies were not happy with this situation as they had to pay taxes to the British government but had no autonomy. The American War of Independence started when fighting broke out between the two sides. On 4th July 1776, the colonies declared that they were no longer part of the British Empire and wanted to be a new nation. America became officially independent when the war ended in 1783.

The Declaration was an official document that explained why they wanted freedom and listed the bad things the British king, George III, had done. Some of the most famous words said “We believe that all men are created equal and have the same rights; the rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Nowadays people celebrate Independence Day with family barbecues, fireworks and parties. Sometimes whole communities get together for big public events like carnivals, parades and baseball games. It is a very patriotic day when people sing national songs and fly the US flag.

 

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Illustration by Paolo D’Altan, taken from Million Dollar Theft in San Francisco, by Gina D.B. Clemen, Green Apple, Step Two (CEFR A2/B1)