In the United States , Independence Day , also called July 4 ( the 4th of July ), is a federal holiday to celebrate the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776 . This holiday is often accompanied by parades, outdoor festivals, and many public ceremonies. Since 1777 , fireworks have been set off to celebrate the holiday.
While the 4th of July has long been celebrated, many consider the date inaccurate. During the Revolution , the colonists in New England had been fighting the British since April 1775. The first petition in Parliament for independence was made on 8 June . After much debate, the Conference secretly agreed to vote (13-0) for independence from the British Empire on 2 July . The conference then revised the text of the manifesto until after 11 a.m. on July 4, when the 13 colonies elected to accept and present an unsigned version to the printers. ( New York did not vote in both elections.)Philadelphia celebrates the Declaration by reading it to the public and lighting a bonfire on July 8th . It was not until August 2 that an official version was signed by the members of the conference, but kept it a secret to avoid British retaliation. John Adams , wrote to his wife Abigail on July 3 that he believes July 2 will be commemorated as independence day for generations to come. He was wrong two days. While a vote on July 2 was decisive, July 4 was the date written in the manifesto. Jefferson’s text, after being revised by the Conference, was accepted on the 4th. That was also the first day the people of Philadelphia heard about this formal independence claim.