4th of July refers to the following.

Independence Day (United States), federal holiday
July 4, the actual date
4th of July (Beach Boys song), song recorded in 1971 and released in 1993
4th of July (U2 song), 1984 song
4th of July (Fireworks), 2010 song by Kelis
Fourth of July (band), indie band from Kansas, active since 2005
4th of July (novel) 2005 mystery by James Patterson
“4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)”, 1973 song by Bruce Springsteen
“4th of July (Regatta)”, episode of the 1989 British children’s series
Born on the Fourth of July, 1976 autobiography of Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic
Born on the Fourth of July (film), 1989 film of the book
“Fourth of July”, 1990 Galaxie 500 song
“4th of July”, a song by Soundgarden from the 1994 album Superunknown
Fourth of July (tomato variety), a type of non-cherry tomato

But today it’s Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, political speeches and ceremonies, and various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the national day of the United States.


During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia. After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the Declaration, finally approving it on July 4. A day earlier, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail:

The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.

Adams’s prediction was off by two days. From the outset, Americans celebrated independence on July 4, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress.

Historians have long disputed whether Congress actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, even though Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin all later wrote that they had signed it on that day. Most historians have concluded that the Declaration was signed nearly a month after its adoption, on August 2, 1776, and not on July 4 as is commonly believed.

In a remarkable coincidence, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only signers of the Declaration of Independence to later serve as President of the United States, died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration.