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An estimated 2.5 million people lived in the United States the year the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation.
Now, America’s population is more than 300 million – but that day back in 1776 still holds great meaning for its citizens.
The Fourth of July, or Independence Day, became a federal holiday on June 28, 1870. Communities throughout the nation continue to gather every July 4 to honor and celebrate their independence. Many people will mark today with parades and backyard barbecues and tonight watching colorful fireworks brighten the sky.
Also each Fourth of July, many Americans are filled with patriotic thoughts. A variety of those thoughts were expressed by local community leaders during interviews Wednesday.
• Rep. Jeannette Wallace – “The Fourth of July is a fun day, but it’s also a remembrance and I think sometimes we forget the meaning of the day. But the speeches and fireworks celebrations help to remind us of its importance.”
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