From Sea to Shining Sea: 4th of July Celebrations from Around the Nation

By Benjamin Chasteen, Epoch Times
July 5, 2016 Last Updated: July 5, 2016

The Fourth of July holiday is based on the signing of the Declaration Of Independence. The historic document officially established the original 13 American states as a separate entity from the British Parliament on July 4, 1776. Many Americans celebrate the birthday of the United States by flying American flags, having family gatherings, barbecues, and of course, fireworks.

The first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence speaks of America’s founding fathers defining the need for the protection of basic human rights. The text explains rights based on their understanding of what they called the “Laws of Nature” or “Nature’s God.”

“When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation,” said the first paragraph of the document.

A lot has changed in America since its first year as an independent entity. In 1776 the population of the United States only consisted of about 2.5 million people. Now that population would define a small metropolitan area. Today the nation is home to an estimated 309.6 million people with cultural backgrounds that extend to almost every nation in the world.

Today cities across the nation celebrate by setting off massive fireworks displays.  

Here is a look at this year’s celebrations from around the nation. 

 New York's Fouth of July celebrations. (Annie Zhuo/Epoch Times)

New York’s Fouth of July celebrations. (Annie Zhuo/Epoch Times)

 A woman poses for photos on a pier overlooking the Manhattan skyline before the fireworks. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)

A woman poses for photos on a pier overlooking the Manhattan skyline before the fireworks start on July 4, 2016. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)

 New York's Fouth of July celebrations. (Annie Zhuo/Epoch Times)

New York’s Fouth of July celebrations. (Annie Zhuo/Epoch Times)

 New York's Fouth of July celebrations. (Annie Zhuo/Epoch Times)

New York’s Fouth of July celebrations. (Annie Zhuo/Epoch Times)

People gather on a pier in Queens for the Fourth of July fireworks in New York. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)
People gather on a pier in Queens for the Fourth of July fireworks in New York. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)

 New York's Fouth of July celebrations. (Annie Zhuo/Epoch Times)

New York’s Fouth of July celebrations. (Annie Zhuo/Epoch Times)

 New York's Fouth of July celebrations. (Annie Zhuo/Epoch Times)

New York’s Fouth of July celebrations. (Annie Zhuo/Epoch Times)

Fireworks set off from the Canadian side light up the sky over Niagra Falls late July 3, as part of the July 4th U.S. Independence Day celebrations, in Niagra Falls, New York. (KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
Fireworks set off from the Canadian side light up the sky over Niagra Falls late July 3, as part of the July 4th U.S. Independence Day celebrations, in Niagra Falls, New York. (KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

Canton Ohios Monumental Fourth Celebration at the William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum. (Bob Rossiter/The Canton Repository via AP)
Canton Ohios Monumental Fourth Celebration at the William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum. (Bob Rossiter/The Canton Repository via AP)

A mother and her child celebrate Fourth of July celebrations at Harris Riverfront Park in downtown Huntington, W.Va. (Sholten Singer/The Herald-Dispatch via AP)
A mother and her child celebrate Fourth of July celebrations at Harris Riverfront Park in downtown Huntington, W.Va. (Sholten Singer/The Herald-Dispatch via AP)

Spectators watch Fourth of July fireworks at Ault Park, Monday, July 4, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Spectators watch Fourth of July fireworks at Ault Park, Monday, July 4, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Spectators watch Fourth of July fireworks at Ault Park in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Spectators watch Fourth of July fireworks at Ault Park in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Fourth of July fireworks explode over the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tenn. The Independence Day fireworks display is the largest in the country. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Fourth of July fireworks explode over the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tenn. The Independence Day fireworks display is the largest in the country. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Fireworks explode over buildings in downtown Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Fireworks explode over buildings in downtown Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Bay City's 4th of July fireworks light up over the Saginaw River in Bay City, Mich.   (Gavin McIntyre /The Bay City Times via AP)
Bay City’s 4th of July fireworks light up over the Saginaw River in Bay City, Mich. (Gavin McIntyre /The Bay City Times via AP)

Fireworks burst above the Saginaw River over Bay City, Mich. (Jacob Hamilton /The Bay City Times via AP)
Fireworks burst above the Saginaw River over Bay City, Mich. (Jacob Hamilton /The Bay City Times via AP)

People ride the Sky Flyer at State Fair Meadowlands carnival as fireworks explode, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
People ride the Sky Flyer at State Fair Meadowlands carnival as fireworks explode, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Fireworks light up the sky over Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.  (Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Caesars Entertainment)
Fireworks light up the sky over Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Caesars Entertainment)

Fireworks burst over Lake Union, in Seattle, on July 4. (Sophia Nahli Allison/The Seattle Times via AP)
Fireworks burst over Lake Union, in Seattle, on July 4. (Sophia Nahli Allison/The Seattle Times via AP)

The 4th of July Parade in Alameda, Calif. (GABRIELLE LURIE/AFP/Getty Images)
The 4th of July Parade in Alameda, Calif. (GABRIELLE LURIE/AFP/Getty Images)

People watch the 4th of July Parade in Alameda, Calif. (GABRIELLE LURIE/AFP/Getty Images)
People watch the 4th of July Parade in Alameda, Calif. (GABRIELLE LURIE/AFP/Getty Images)

Athena Volant, 2, watches the 4th of July Parade in Alameda, Calif. (GABRIELLE LURIE/AFP/Getty Images)
Athena Volant, 2, watches the 4th of July Parade in Alameda, Calif. (GABRIELLE LURIE/AFP/Getty Images)

Fireworks explode over Lincoln Memorial at the National Mall, as seen from Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Fireworks explode over Lincoln Memorial at the National Mall, as seen from Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Fireworks explode over Lincoln Memorial, at the National Mall as seen from Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Fireworks explode over Lincoln Memorial, at the National Mall. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)