July 4th! Independence Day! The 4th of July! The day the Declaration of Independence Might Have Been Signed! Whatever you call it, our nation’s birthday is a special day.
Independence Day first became a federal holiday back in 1870. Although it was a holidays, federal employees were not paid. It was not until June 29, 1938 that Congress made the day a paid federal holiday. Private employers soon followed suit. The statute making July 4th (among other days) a federal holiday can be found at 5 U.S.C. 6103. This statute also defines what happens if the holiday happens to fall on a Saturday or a Sunday.
Independence Day is the uber-American holiday. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only signers of the Declaration of Independence who went on to become President died on the same day, July 4th 1826 which also happened to be the 50th Anniversary of the signing of the Declaration. Former President James Monroe died 5 years later on the same day. Calvin Coolidge was born on July 4, 1872.
If you are interested in how Independence Day is celebrated around the country, I highly recommend the Fourth of July Celebrations Database. The 4th of July is an important day in American history and we need to treat it that way.