Light the fireworks and strike up the band, because it's America's birthday! Every year on July 4th, the United States celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the act which began the American Revolution. This year, July 4th is on a Sunday, which means we will have a 3-day weekend and a day off of work on Monday, July 5th. Independence Day is one of the most popular US holidays and is full of symbolism.
Independence Day in Pop Culture
- Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942 movie): This classic film was one of many patriotic movies that came out of Hollywood during World War II. The movie is a fictionalized account of Broadway legend George M. Cohen, played by James Cagney, who is known for penning patriotic songs like "I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy" and "Over There."
- Independence Day (1996 movie): A classic popcorn action film, Independence Day stars Will Smith and other big-name stars who team up to fight off an alien invasion, culminating with a final battle on Independence Day.
- Saturday in the Park (1972 song): The band Chicago penned this oldies radio hit about a whole neighborhood enjoying a beautiful day in the park on July 4th.
- Captain America (comic books/movies): He isn't just the most patriotic superhero because of his name. Comic book character Steve Rogers was "born on the 4th of July," a concept made popular by George M. Cohen's song, "I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy."
This Year's Independence Day Celebrations
Usually, Independence Day celebrations are huge events drawing large crowds. Due to social distancing rules, 2021 will be the second year in a row that the US does not celebrate with mass gatherings. But that does not mean that you won't enjoy the holiday. Smaller gatherings can be just as fun!
But what about the most famous aspect for July 4th festivities: the fireworks? Happily, many cities will still be hosting fireworks shows after sunset. Many of them will even been streamed over the internet or even broadcast on TV! Here are some of the most noteworthy displays for 2021.
- Washington DC: The nation's capital will be broadcasting their firework display on PBS.
- New York City: Much like the Thanksgiving Day Parade, the department store Macy's has been hosting a spectacular fireworks show in the Big Apple for over 40 years. This year it will be broadcast live on NBC.
- Nashville: Music City's "Let Freedom Sing!" event promises to be their biggest ever, with the most fireworks they've ever had and a performance from their symphony orchestra as well as country music stars. This event is live only but totally free!