This coming Thursday, the familiar sounds of fireworks, laughter and music will fill the summer air. The Fourth of July—Independence Day—is not only day of celebrating with family and friends, but also a day of remembrance for our country’s independence. A tradition dating back to the 18th century and the American Revolution.

Amid the revolution against Great Britain in 1775, a desire for independence sprouted in the 13 colonies. Nearly a year later, the drafting of the Declaration of Independence began by Founding Fathers such as Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.

On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted to adopt the Declaration of Independence and formally sever ties with the British regime. From 1776 to present day, July 4 has been celebrated as the birth of American Independence.

In 1870, U.S. Congress moved to make the Fourth of July a federal holiday, which was later granted as a paid national holiday to all federal employees in 1941. The occasion has now become a day of leisure, filled with get-togethers, fireworks, barbecues and many other fun summer activities.

So this Independence Day, we hope you can spend time celebrating the patriotic holiday with those you cherish most. Take a moment to remember America’s rich history, our Founding Fathers and the many soldiers who fought for our freedom in the American Revolution.