What Is the Significance of Independence Day?

America's Independence Day is celebrated on July 4 because this is the anniversary of the day that members of the Continental Congress agreed to the final wording of the Declaration of Independence, according to the Oak Hill Publishing Company. Fifty-six delegates signed the document on August 2, 1776, after an enlarged copy was printed.

Independence Day signifies America's break from England and King George III. It was not, however, the start of the Revolutionary War, which occurred in April 1775. Independence Day is celebrated with parades, patriotic music, fireworks, picnics, barbecues and family gatherings. The holiday was first recognized by Congress as an official day of celebration in 1870.

Several dates of American independence could have been chosen. July 2, 1776 was when the Continental Congress agreed to break away from England. July 4, 1776 is the date originally imprinted on the document, which is what is shown on the large copy of the Declaration of Independence located in the National Archives. August 2, 1776 marked the day the delegates actually signed the paper. August 10, 1776 was when King George III received the document. Drafts of the large Declaration of Independence were replicated on January 18, 1777, in Baltimore.