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World's Fair Fireworks
Fireworks at the World Fair, 1940

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"The Stars and Stripes Forever March," by J.P. Sousa

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Independence Day: Americans Celebrate the Birth of Their Nation
July 4, 1776

In the past, large public events were arranged to take place on July 4 in order to coincide with the holiday. The groundbreaking ceremonies for the Erie Canal and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad both took place on July 4. But even without these events, Americans have long celebrated Independence Day with great fanfare. Picnics and parades fill the day while fireworks fill the night sky. A band may play one of John Philip Sousa's marches, such as "The Stars and Stripes Forever." Friends and families barbeque, hold contests and races, wave flags, sing, or listen to patriotic speeches. By the 1870s, the Fourth of July was one of America's most important holidays.
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CREDIT: “World's Fair. Fireworks IV,” 1939-1940. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Reproduction Number LC-G605-CT-00489-1/2 DLC..
AUDIO CREDIT: Imperial Marimba Band, Sousa, John Philip. “The stars and stripes forever march / J. P. Sousa ; [performed by] Imperial Marimba Band,” 1918. Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound, Library of Congress. Call Number Edison Diamond Disc 50466[-L].