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Happy Fourth of July – America declared its independence 243 years ago today

President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump watch Fourth of July fireworks at the White House | July 4, 2018 (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead/Released)
July 04, 2019

Today, July 4, is Independence Day. It is the 243rd anniversary of when our great nation declared its independence from Britain.

The Continental Congress in 1776 declared that the 13 original American colonies would no longer be subordinate to the British crown, and Congress signed the Declaration of Independence stating that they were now free and independent.

The U.S. Department of Defense on Thursday tweeted, “Today, as we celebrate our nation’s independence, we thank the men and women in uniform who have kept us independent for 243 years.”

While the Continental Congress had voted for independence on July 2, it was not declared until two days later, on July 4, 1776.

The Declaration of Independence is the famous document that announced the 13 colonies would hereby be independent states not under British rule.

The document was written by Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, and it was later signed by the 56 delegates of the Second Continental Congress.

On Thursday, the nation will celebrate its independence with “Salute to America,” which was spearheaded by President Donald Trump and will feature epic displays of our U.S. military, as well as a speech by President Trump at the Lincoln Memorial and spectacular fireworks displays.

The event will include flyovers by the next-generation Marine One helicopter, Air Force One, Marine Corps V-22 Ospreys, Navy F/A-18 fighter jets, Army AH-64 Apache helicopters, VC-25 jets and the Air Force B-2 strategic bomber, as well as the Blue Angels.

There will also be Army tanks on display at the National Mall.

The celebration is expected to kick off at 6:30 p.m. EST.

Here is the anticipated schedule of events:

11:45 a.m.-2 p.m. – National Independence Parade on Constitution Avenue NW from 7th Street to 17th Street NW. Marching bands, fife and drum corps, floats, military units, giant balloons, equestrian, drill teams and more.

6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. – “Salute to America” at the Lincoln Memorial, where President Trump will speak; multiple military flyovers are planned. Other participants will include e Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, the U.S. Army Band (“Pershing’s Own”), the Armed Forces Chorus, the United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Team and others.

9:07 p.m.-9:42 p.m. – The fireworks over the national mall will be launched from West Potomac Park and behind the Lincoln Memorial. They will be visible from locations throughout D.C. and Northern Virginia.

On Thursday, Trump tweeted, “Our July 4th Salute to America at the Lincoln Memorial is looking to be really big. It will be the show of a lifetime!”