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Each year on July 4th, the United States celebrates Independence Day. This federal holiday commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. 

For nearly 250 years, the country has been celebrating a day in history that inspires us still today. On July 4th, communities host speeches and ceremonies across the nation. Across the country, people crowd cities for parades and festivals. Cities deck the streets in red, white, and blue bunting and flags.

Families and friends also gather for some of the most mouthwatering food – large picnics and barbecues, local fairs provide a taste of culture and mom’s home cooking, too. With so many converging on their hometowns, family and school reunions take place.

Fire Works

Before the day is over, many communities hold spectacular fireworks displays re-enacting moments of victory. Patriotic music accompanies the performance while spectators view the show from blankets strewn along capital lawns or from boats floating in bays. Whether our National Anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner” or “God Bless America,” many will sing along. In some locations, music will be played by a live orchestra or band, while in other areas it’s pre-recorded. Some of the most popular on the playlist are “America the Beautiful,” “My Country, Tis of Thee,” “This Land Is Your Land,” “Stars and Stripes Forever,” “God Bless the U.S.A.,” “Yankee Doodle” and “Dixie.”

In some parts of the country, people will shoot their own fireworks while children delight in the bright colors and sparklers. They roast marshmallows and make s’ mores.

HOW TO OBSERVE #IndependenceDay #July4th #4thOfJuly #FourthOfJuly

Spend the day celebrating independence. Attend local events or travel the nation to see friends and relatives.

  • At noon, a “Salute to the Union” is fired, each July 4th, by any capable military base. This is a salute of one gun for each state in the United States. 
  • In 2009, New York City hosted the largest fireworks display in the country. 
  • Held since 1785, the Bristol Fourth of July Parade in Bristol, Rhode Island, is the oldest continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States. 

Share your celebrations using #IndependenceDay, #July4th, #4thOfJuly, FourthOfJuly on social media.


July 4th
  • 1777 – The First Anniversary – Bristol, Rhode Island, fired thirteen gunshots in salute: once in the morning and once again in the evening. Philadelphia hosted an official dinner for the Continental Congress. There were also toasts, 13-gun salutes, speeches, prayers, music, parades, troop reviews, and fireworks. Ships were decorated with red, white, and blue bunting.
  • 1778 – General George Washington gave his soldiers a double ration of rum and an artillery salute. On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, ambassadors John Adams and Benjamin Franklin hosted a dinner for their fellow Americans in Paris, France.
  • 1779 –  Since the holiday fell on a Sunday, celebrations were held on Monday, July 5th.
  • 1781 – The Massachusetts General Court became the first state legislature to recognize July 4th as a state celebration.
  • 1783 – Moravians in Salem, North Carolina, celebrated with a challenging music program assembled by Johann Friedrich Peter. The work was titled “The Psalm of Joy.”
  • 1791 – The first recorded use of the name “Independence Day” occurred.
  • 1820 –  Eastport Main held the first Fourth of July celebration, and it remains the largest in the state.
  • 1870 – The United States Congress made Independence Day an unpaid holiday for federal employees.
  • 1938 – The United States Congress changed Independence Day to a paid federal holiday.NATIONAL CAESAR SALAD DAY – July 4


    National Caesar Salad Day commemorates a time-honored tradition on July 4th. Although a classic Caesar salad dressing includes a few ingredients that make some people a bit squeamish, it’s still one of the most popular salads around. And the flavor is undeniably a name-making recipe.

    Using a raw (or coddled) egg and Worcestershire sauce as the main ingredients, Chef Caesar Cardini developed a salad that has stood the test of time. He added parmesan, dijon mustard, and lemon juice for brightness. A dash of salt brings all the flavors together. Beautifully, the ingredients rest on a bed of romaine lettuce with croutons. Once garnished with freshly grated parmesan, the salad is ready to be served. Considering it is found on nearly 50 percent of the restaurant menus across the country, it is served with frequency.

    While most Caesar dressings include anchovies today, the original did not. Chef Cardini used Worcestershire sauce, which is derived from anchovies. Either way, the salad rouses the senses and elevates even the simplest meal. Additionally, when ordering, there’s no need to choose a dressing. Chef Cardini selected the perfect ingredients when he designed the salad. 

    HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalCaesarSaladDay

    Make a Caesar salad with as much celebration as Chef Cardini did. If you need a recipe for a Caesar Salad, we have you covered. Don’t forget, half the restaurants in the country serve it, too!  Post on social media using #NationalCaesarSaladDay.


    We were unable to identify the founder of National Caesar Salad Day. However, this day is relevant to the history of the Caesar salad.

    During the holiday weekend of 1924, Caesar Cardini created the Caesar salad for an elite Hollywood crowd at his Tijuana, Mexico restaurant. The Independence Day weekend called for a little extra excitement at the dinner table. As part of the service, Cardini made a dramatic performance of mixing the salad as his guests watched. He tossed the ingredients with great panache and flair, much to the thrill of those around the table. The display was such a success, preparing a Caesar salad today continues in much the same fashion out of tradition.NATIONAL BARBECUED SPARERIBS DAY – July 4


    Get the charcoals ready as we observe National Barbecued Spareribs Day across the nation annually on July 4th.

    One of the most popular days to barbecue and grill, July 4th will have the back yards, patios, and beaches heating up with the flavors of spareribs. While steak is great, these inexpensive cuts of pork or beef ribs can be seasoned with spice rubs and sauces.

    For the best barbecued spareribs, follow these tips for tender, delicious ribs every time.

    Barbecue Tips
    • Select the right meat – Choose ribs with meat all over the bone. Fat is ok, just make sure it’s balanced, too. When you find ribs that have fat at one end, walk on by.
    • Get enough – Nobody likes missing out. Half a slab per adult should be enough.
    • Use a dry rub – Rubs vary. Use one that meets your family’s preferences. Apply the rub before you put the ribs on the grill, but there’s no need to let the ribs marinate in the seasonings for long.
    • Low heat – The temperature of the grill should be around 200° F.
    • Indirect heat – Whether you’re using charcoal or gas, the important thing to remember is to place the ribs opposite of where the coals or burners are lit.
    • Use tongs – Forks will pierce the meat, letting the juices out. Turn the ribs every 20-30 minutes.
    • Add sauce – When there are about 40-45 minutes of cooking time left, add the barbecue sauce. Again, use the sauce that best fits your family’s preferences.
    • Rest the ribs – 15 minutes will let the meat absorb the juices that heat has forced to the outer surface. The end result is a juicier, more tender rib.

    When eating spareribs, don’t wear your Sunday best. While some manners go out the window, try to maintain some decorum. Eat this sweet and messy deliciousness with your fingers, but carry plenty of napkins. Wiping your hands on your shirt is a no-no. The better the ribs, the more napkins you will need.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #BarbecuedSpareribsDay

    Come share your favorite BBQ recipe with us on our National Day Recipes page!

    Give this sparerib recipe or dry rub recipe a try and enjoy the Independence Day weekend! Beyond the recipes, be sure to celebrate with friends and family. This day, as well as many others, offer the opportunity to socialize and share your BBQ and grilling talents. Impart some wisdom while you’re out there tending the ribs and the next generation will be ready to take the tongs!

    If you’re just starting out, check out these 7 Hot BBQ Tips to get you started. Share your best barbecued spareribs on social media using #BarbecuedSpareribsDay.


    We were unable to identify the creator of National Barbecued Spareribs Day.

On Deck for July 5, 2021

National Days

July 4th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History

The United States of America is formed when 13 colonies declare independence from the British crown.


The U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, welcomed the arrival of its first 10 cadets.


Former U.S. Presidents, founding fathers, friends and rivals, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson die on the same day.


The Tuskeegee Institute opens in Alabama. Founded by Booker T. Washington, the organization would become a foundation of education known today as Tuskegee University.

Recipe of the Day

Apple Strudel recipe

Name: Apple Strudel
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total Prep: 1 hour
Servings: 12 


5 cups sliced apples
1 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon flour

3 cups flour
1 cup shortening
1 egg yolk and white, divided
1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup powdered sugar


In a medium bowl, mix apples, raisins, sugar, cinnamon, and flour. Set aside.

Cream together flour and shortening. Mix in the milk and egg yolk. Divide dough in half and roll out the first layer to fit into the bottom of a jelly roll pan.

Add filling evenly to the pan. Roll out the remaining dough and cover the filling.

Bake at 375° for 45 minutes.

Dust with powdered sugar. Serve with vanilla ice cream if desired.

July 4th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays
Stephen Foster – 1826

Born in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania on July 4, 1826, Stephen Foster became known as America’s First Composer. His catchy tunes based on minstrel songs are still known today.

Edmonia Lewis – 1844

Despite profound adversity, the American sculptor persevered and reached masterful heights with her work. One of her most accomplished pieces is The Death of Cleopatra.

Elizabeth Jean Wanamaker Peratrovich – 1911

A civil rights leader for the Tlingit people, Elizabeth Jean Wanamaker Peratrovich, strived to bring to light the discrimination occurring in her state. Her efforts brought forth equal rights legislation in Alaska before the Civil Rights movement had picked up steam in the rest of the United States.

Iva Toguri – 1916

Iva Toguri had the misfortune to be stranded in Japan after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. As a result, the Japanese used her to promote propaganda on the radio to the American military. She became known as Tokyo Rose. Later arrested for treason, it would take nearly 30 years to receive a presidential pardon.

About National Day Calendar

National Day Calendar® is the authoritative source for fun, unusual and unique National Days! Since our humble beginnings on National Popcorn Day in 2013, we now track nearly 1,500 National Days, National Weeks and National Months. In addition, our research team continues to uncover the origins of existing National Days as well as discover new, exciting days for everyone to celebrate.

There’s a celebration for everyone. While National Road Trip Day satisfies the itch to wander, many pet days let us share our love of animals. National 3-D Day and National Astronaut Day honor the advancement of technology, too. Every food day you can imagine (National Avocado Day, for example), will keep you celebrating, also!

Be sure to stay in the know by signing up for our e-mail updates. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Our Ambassador Program is another way #CelebrateEveryDay®! Whether you become an ambassador or follow one of the savvy ambassadors, their fun videos and posts will keep you prepared for every holiday.

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