THE UNITED STATES is celebrating the 4th of July today, marking the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
This year marks the 243rd anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, which declared that the 13 American colonies were no longer under British rule and were free, independent states. Across the US, parades, parties and firework displays are held in celebration. Many spend the day with friends and family, sharing food and decorating homes and clothes with the US flag.
The fourth of July is also known as Independence Day and is a federal holiday across the US.
Families often gather to have barbecues, picnics and celebrate being American.
At the first celebration in 1777, fireworks lit up the sky in celebration, despite the US still in the midst of the Revolutionary War.