Here are a few facts about the July 4th holiday, courtesy of, appropriately, Voice of America.

July 4, also known as Independence Day, is the day in 1776 that delegates from the 13 U.S. colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, announcing the severing of ties with Britain.

The day has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941 and is traditionally a day when Americans celebrate with firework displays, parades, concerts and cookouts.

FILE - Matthew Usher looks up at the clouds to check for rain as he waits for a concert to start as part of the Independence Day activities, July 4, 2013, in Nashville, Tennessee.

July 4 is known around the country as a day of fireworks. Thousands of communities across the nation organize annual displays of fireworks with one of the most dazzling displays taking place in Washington, the nation's capital.

Fireworks on July Fourth are not new. Congress authorized the use of pyrotechnics as part of Independence Day celebrations in 1777 in Philadelphia, and they have been a popular way to celebrate the holiday every since.

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