An Independence Day is an annual event commemorating the anniversary of a nation's assumption of independent statehood, usually after ceasing to be a group or part of another nation or state; more rarely after the end of a military occupation. Most countries observe their respective independence days as a national holiday, and in some cases the observance date is controversial or contested.
- The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.—I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.
- John Adams, letter to Abigail Adams (July 3, 1776); in L. H. Butterfield, ed., Adams Family Correspondence (1963), vol. 2, p. 30.
- Americans can celebrate the Fourth of July and bring its spirit anywhere in the world…. But it is celebrated with more sentiment and fervor by Americans away from home in France than in any country, for Lafayette and Rochambeau equally with Washington made the Fourth of July possible. French aid, French armies and French gallantry joining with the American army saved liberty for the United States and the world. So Americans can say of the French on the Fourth of July what my old friend, Colonel Somers of South Carolina, said in closing a hot discussion on the merits of religious sects. The Colonel said, "I admit that Catholics can go to Heaven, so can Baptists, Presbyterians, Unitarians and others, but if you wish to go to Heaven as a gentleman with gentlemen, you must be an Episcopalian".
- Chauncey M. Depew, speech at the Fourth of July banquet of the American Chamber of Commerce, Paris, France (July 4, 1914); Depew, Addresses and Literary Contributions on the Threshold of Eighty-Two (1916), p. 103–4.