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Happy Independence Day, U.S.A.!

On the Fourth of July, you might find yourself waving a little American flag at a parade, grilling burgers and hot dogs, or watching the sky fill with glimmering fireworks. But what if you simply want to share a digital “Happy Independence Day U.S.A.” message with your friends and family across the miles? We’ve got you covered!

We’ve created some cool images and gathered inspiring quotes to help you get your message across. And don’t forget to check out the exciting discounts from our partners!

What Is Independence Day in the U.S.A.? 5 Patriotic Facts

Independence Day celebrates the day the Second Continental Congress unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence – July 4, 1776. With this act, the 13 colonies severed political ties with Great Britain and declared themselves an independent nation.

Here are a few facts about Independence Day you may have forgotten since history class:

  1. The Fourth of July doesn’t celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Although the Declaration was adopted on July 4, 1776, most Congress members signed it at the Pennsylvania State House (later renamed Independence Hall) on August 2, 1776.
  2. The name United States of America came later.  When the Founders signed the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. was called the United Colonies. It wasn’t until September 9, 1776, that the Second Continental Congress adopted the moniker United States of America.
  3. Thomas Jefferson is credited with the name. His original draft of the Declaration of Independence began: “A Declaration of the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in General Congress assembled.”
  4. If John Adams had gotten his way, we’d be celebrating the Second of July. Adams believed July 2, 1776, the day the Second Continental Congress voted for independence, should have been the date history remembered. He apparently turned down invitations to July Fourth celebrations throughout his life as a result.
  5. We can thank John Adams for Independence Day fireworks. In a letter to his wife on July 3, 1776, he called for a celebration with “Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.” Although Adams would’ve lit those fireworks on July 2, the first commemorative fireworks dazzled revelers on July 4, 1777.

Is it Appropriate to Say “Happy Fourth of July?”

People from outside the U.S. often wonder how to wish their American friends a happy Independence Day. Is it appropriate to say “Happy Fourth of July”?

Americans don’t say “Happy 31st of October” on Halloween, so you might wonder why we would wish a “Happy Fourth of July” on Independence Day. The U.S. also uses the month/day/year date format. Wouldn’t that mean we should say, “Happy July Fourth” rather than “Fourth of July”?

Colloquially, “Happy Fourth of July” or “Happy Fourth” are the informal greetings most Americans embrace. “Happy Independence Day” is a good greeting for more formal settings and correspondences.

Ways to Wish a Happy Independence Day

Parades and cookouts definitely have their place in any Fourth of July celebration, but sometimes you want to celebrate the birth of our nation with more distant family and friends. We’ve created some shareable images that you can post on your social media channels, send in an email, or even print.

Download help

To save an image, right-click (or two-finger click on a trackpad) and select “Save Image As.”

Illustration of a diverse group of people with sparklers and an American flag. Quote reads "Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all! By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall." - John Dickinson
Happy Independence Day - Image of Rosa Parks on a bus. Quote: I'd like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free and wanted other people to be also free. – Rosa Parks
Happy Independence Day - Image: Declaration of Independence Quote: America was built on courage, on imagination, and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand. – Harry S. Truman

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Teachers, thanks for everything you do to prepare current and future generations to experience the world through the lens of knowledge and curiosity. We appreciate you!