Fourth of July, Independence Day, or July Fourth, U.S. holiday, commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Celebration of it began during the American Revolution. It has been the most important patriotic holiday ever since. Traditionally it has been celebrated with the firing of guns and fireworks, parades, open-air meetings, and patriotic speeches. Today local ordinances prevent much of the former display of fireworks and use of firearms.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.