America Celebrates Independence Day

July 04, 2013

The United States celebrates Independence Day Thursday.

Fireworks begin as The Killers play on the South Lawn of the White House during the Fourth of July celebration. July 4, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

July 4 marks the 237th anniversary of the American Declaration of Independence from British rule.

U.S. citizens traditionally celebrate with parades, picnics, fireworks, ball games and concerts. Fourth of July decorations feature the colors of the American flag -- red, white, and blue.

Thursday the Statue of Liberty, a universal symbol of freedom and democracy, welcomes visitors for the first time since Hurricane Sandy slammed into New York last year. The 93-meter statue was not damaged in the storm, but the tiny island it sits on was devastated. Hundreds of construction workers have been working on the repairs.

Washington holds an annual Fourth of July celebration on The National Mall. This year, singer/composer Barry Manilow is the headline entertainer. Fireworks will light up the capital's sky after the concert.

Drafted by Thomas Jefferson in June 1776, the Declaration of Independence is America's most cherished symbol of freedom. The Continental Congress formally approved the document weeks later on July 4.

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