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America Celebrates Independence Day

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The United States celebrates Independence Day Thursday.

July 4th marks the 237th anniversary of the American Declaration of Independence from British rule.

U.S. citizens traditionally celebrate July 4th with parades, picnics, fireworks, ball games and concerts. Fourth of July decorations feature the colors of the American flag -- red, white, and blue.

Washington holds an annual Fourth of July celebration on The National Mall. This year, singer/composer Barry Manilow is the headline entertainer. Fireworks will light up the capital's sky after the concert.

Drafted by Thomas Jefferson in June 1776, the Declaration of Independence is America's most cherished symbol of freedom. The Continental Congress formally approved the document weeks later on July 4.

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FILE - President Barack Obama waves as he boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland en route to Southeast Asia, November 17, 2012.

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