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'July Fourth, Fourth of July, or Independence Day': Which Is It?

Updated on July 30, 2018
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Margaret Minnicks has been writing for HubPages for a long time. She is an expert about a variety of subjects she writes about.

The official name of the federal holiday that falls on the fourth day of July is called "Independence Day." However, very few people refer to it that way.

Some people call it Fourth of July or July the Fourth. There are even more variations when they write it. It could be written as July 4th, 4th of July, July the 4th, July the Fourth, or Fourth of July.

Either one of those sayings and spellings is acceptable. To be grammatically correct, Independence Day is the name of the holiday while July 4 is the actual date of the holiday.

While there is no known rule with instructions about how to say or write the name of the holiday, here are some examples that are appropriate.

  • The official name of the federal holiday in July is Independence Day.
  • People celebrate Independence Day on July 4th.
  • The fourth of July is known as Independence Day.
  • Fourth of July is also called Independence Day in the United States.

It is incorrect to start a sentence with a number. Therefore, never write:"4th of July is a good time to have a cookout." However, it is acceptable to write: "Fourth of July is a good time to have a cookout."

No matter what you call it or how you write it, Independence Day is a federal holiday that is celebrated all over the United States. It is the day to commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

It was the day that the United States received its independence from Great Britain. If that hadn't happened, citizens of America would be subjects of Queen Elizabeth II.

Thomas Jefferson was the main one who signed the document. Four others also signed it, including John Adams. Both Adams and Jefferson later became Presidents of the United States. It is interesting that both men died on the same day. That day happened to be July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the birth of this country.

What do you say?

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Federal Holiday

Because Independence Day is a federal holiday, all federal buildings are closed. This includes banks and post offices. Schools are already closed for the summer. Otherwise, they would be closed also.

Holiday Events and Activities

The American flag is often displayed on Independence Day to express Americans' love of the country. This is done in remembrance of our nation’s history. It is also about celebrating with family and friends.

Many people take the entire week off to combine the celebration of the holiday with their vacation. This means traveling by car, bus, train or airplane.

Those who stay home have plenty of fun things to do which might include picnics, cookouts, sporting events or going to the beach. There might be a local parade during the day and several places to watch fireworks at night.

Sometimes patriotic songs are played along with the display of fireworks. Songs usually include the following:

  • "The Star-Spangled Banner"
  • "God Bless America"
  • "America the Beautiful"
  • "My Country, 'Tis of Thee"
  • This Land Is Your Land"
  • "Stars and Stripes Forever"
  • "Yankee Doodle" in northeastern states
  • "Dixie" in southern states

Beautiful fireworks
Beautiful fireworks

Be Safe

Whatever you do on Independence Day, be safe. Traffic accidents happen as well as fireworks accidents.

According to AAA, about 46.9 million Americans are expected to travel over the Fourth of July holiday. Of that number, nearly 40 million will be traveling by car. Gas prices are lower than they were during the Memorial Day holiday at the end of May.

What do you do on Independence Day?

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