4th of July
Variously known as the 4th of July (Fourth of July) and Independence Day, July 4th has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution (1775-83). In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.
As millions of Americans prepare for hosting cookouts, purchasing fireworks and celebrating the upcoming Fourth of July it’s a great opportunity to share American traditions’ and holiday customs with your international participants. It’s also a great opportunity to take a look around the globe to other countries that are equally as proud and celebratory with their respective Independence Days. The majority of establish countries today became independent during the 1800’s. Only a few were independent before the start of the 19th century. Some of the oldest independence countries are Japan which is 660 BCE and China in 221 BCE.
Highlights of Independence Day’s around the World
- In Mexico, they celebrate on September 16th their independence from Spanish rule.
- In India, they celebrate on August 15th their independence from British rule.
- In Ghana, they celebrate on March 6th their independence from United Kingdom.
- In Kosovo, they celebrate on February 17th their secession from Serbia.
- In Philippines, they celebrate on June 2nd their independence from Spanish rule.
Check out other countries: Independence Day Around the World
Cultural Exchange Opportunities
1) Read – You could kick off the Fourth of July by formally reading the Declaration of Independence at your next staff meeting. This is a great opportunity for both domestic and international staff to learn about American History. Don’t forget to purchase holiday cupcakes or cookies for all to enjoy. A link to the text: Declaration of Independence
2) Educate – Share the History Channel’s video on the Fourth of July’s history that includes fun facts with your international participants
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