The day they announced to the world that the 13 colonies no longer belonged to Great Britain. Independence Day was first observed in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776
On July 4, 1777, the night sky of Philadelphia lit up with the blaze of bonfires. Candles illuminated the windows of houses and public buildings. Church bells rang out load, and cannons were shot from ships breaking the silence. The city was celebrating the first anniversary of the founding of the United States.
The Fourth of July soon became the main patriotic holiday of the entire country. Veterans of the Revolutionary War made a tradition of gathering on the 4th to remember their victory. In towns and cities, the American flag flew; shops displayed red, white, and blue decorations; and people marched in parades that were followed by public readings of the Declaration of Independence. In 1941, Congress declared July 4th a federal legal holiday.
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