News / USA

Americans Celebrate 238th Anniversary of Nation's Independence

President Barack Obama (L) watches as Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas administers the oath of allegiance during a naturalization ceremony for active duty service members and civilians, July 4, 2014, at the White House in Washington.
President Barack Obama (L) watches as Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas administers the oath of allegiance during a naturalization ceremony for active duty service members and civilians, July 4, 2014, at the White House in Washington.
Alex Villarreal

Americans across the United States are celebrating the 238th anniversary of their country's independence from Britain with fireworks, parades, and picnics.

Large Fourth of July fireworks displays and concerts are taking place in Washington on the National Mall and in New York City over the East River.

Festivities in Washington also include re-enactors portraying founding fathers such as Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams.

A firework show in Boston was held a day early so as not to be rained out by Hurricane Arthur which is making its way up the East Coast.

Presidential push

At the White House on Friday, President Barack Obama pressed again for immigration reform, as he welcomed 25 new U.S. citizens in a special Independence Day naturalization ceremony.

Obama said the new citizens -- all U.S. service members or military spouses -- are a reminder that America "is and always has been a nation of immigrants."  

Calling the current immigration system "broken," he pledged to do everything he can to make the system smarter and more efficient.

"We shouldn't be making it harder for the best and brightest to come here and create jobs here and grow our economy here. We should be making it easier," said Obama.

The immigration issue is back in the spotlight amid an influx of tens of thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America who have crossed into the United States illegally.

The service members and spouses naturalized at the White House Friday joined President Obama for a barbecue and viewing of the annual Fourth of July fireworks on the National Mall. President Obama praised those in the armed forces for signing up to fight for a country they did not fully belong to yet.
 
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recognized the holiday by calling U.S. service members in Afghanistan to wish them a happy Independence Day.  The Pentagon said Hagel thanked them for what they do to defend the U.S. people and their "tireless" efforts to support Afghan citizens during the current transition period.

Most NATO-led forces are preparing to leave Afghanistan by the end of the year.

You May Like

Ukraine: Mysterious 'Roaming Tank' Reportedly Takes Aim at Smugglers

Ukraine's TV, print media, Facebook abuzz with reports a 'roaming tank' is on the loose, destroying vehicles of those involved in smuggling More

US Wildlife Service Begins Probe of Killing of Cecil the Lion

Minnesota man accused of killing beast is in hiding, has been asked to contact US officials; White House to review extradition petition More

Video Kerry Five-Nation Tour to Cover Security, Iran Nuclear Deal

Secretary of state will visit Egypt, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam to discuss security issues, Iran nuclear deal, Trans-Pacific Partnership More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Darryl Stock from: London
July 05, 2014 3:33 PM
I bet you miss us! Darryl in the UK (agent to King George)

by: Rumsay Veila
July 05, 2014 1:47 PM

Sincere congratulations to free and independent nation

by: Tamba Ngombu from: Liberia
July 05, 2014 2:56 AM
I love the GREAT United State Happy lndpendent celebration

by: flexdoc from: NY
July 04, 2014 7:58 PM
Independence is just a tag line. We havent been Independent since we allowed the big oil companies to continue our reliance on foreign oil and we have sold our real estate and businesses to China. Stop fooling yourselves.

by: Mrs.Lydia Mouthburp from: FSA
July 04, 2014 7:45 PM
I am still amazed that we have come to this point of rapidly declining feelings of freedom and widespread dissociation with our political system. It is not the failure of our constitutional system and only partially the failure of our leaders. It is largely a failure in ourselves that we have become such grumbling drones — powerless, passive, and frankly a bit pathetic. Our government is openly trying to strip away core privacy protections and increase police powers at every level. Yet, we have fallen victim to the “blue state” and “red state” mentality — allowing politicians to constantly deflect criticism by referring to the other side as the greater evil. The result is predictable and … incredibly depressing.

by: srw from: sd
July 04, 2014 4:16 PM
Good job President Obama!!! Happy 4th and don't listen to the nay sayers, it doesn't matter what the opposers say, keep your eyes on God and be encouraged that you have done and are still doing an excellent job It does not matter if the polls show a decline in followers, we knew that, ha Just know that you are always in our prayers and good thoughts!!!

by: Mark Adams from: USA
July 04, 2014 1:57 PM
"the Declaration of Independence was drafted by a slave owner" But many who signed were NOT slave owners. John Adams NEVER owned a slave. Samuel Adams was given a slave in return of a debt. He immediately set her free and proceeded to author the abolishment of slavery in the Massachusetts Constitution. This piece has no credibility because it immediately points to slavery, and not the meaning of the document.

by: zamu65 from: Texas
July 04, 2014 1:27 PM
The United States is celebrating its independence, not "America."

by: mohammad qasim from: peshawar-pakistan
July 04, 2014 11:42 AM
i congratulate all the americans independence from slavery but in peshawar today my 8 years old daughter sexually abused by a peon in her mother office. We love Usa

by: Richard Cox from: Weirton, WV, USA
July 04, 2014 9:48 AM
Politics and Solving the Nation's Problems - You are right, it IS all about money. The wider scope solution is to Support the Domestic Employment Recovery Act (DERA). The export of jobs overseas is at the root of most of our issues and here is the solution.

My related article is at:
http://rncox.newsvine.com/_news/2014/07/01/24572537-politics-and-solving-the-nations-problems-you-are-right-it-is-all-about-money-the-wider-scope-solution-is-to-support-the-domestic-employment-recovery-act-dera-exporting-jobs-overseas-is-at-the-root-of-most-of-our-issues-and-here-is-the-solution)

That's why I created a petition to The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate, and President Barack Obama urging the support of DERA - the Domestic Employment Relief Act.

Will you sign this petition? Click here:
http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/support-dera-the-domestic?source=c.em.cp&r_by=5254576

Feel free to share and network this around.

Thanks!

Richard Cox
Independent member, WV Senator Manchin's Project Weirton task group (http://www.wtov9.com/news/5484507/detail.html )
Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs