4th of July

The head of the 4th of July Parade in Monroe, NC. It’s unclear the year of the photo.
Frank Marchant / Courtesy of the State Archives of North Carolina

Happy 240th birthday, U.S.A.

Known as the Fourth of July or Independence Day, today marks the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776 by the Continental Congress declaring that the 13 American colonies were free as a sovereign nation.

Fourth Of July Weekend Travel Expected To Break Records

Jul 1, 2016
A picture of a highway traffic jam.
Simon Forsyth / Flickr

AAA Carolinas predicts another record-breaking weekend of holiday travel, as more than 1.2 million North Carolinians are expected to travel fifty miles or more during Independence Day weekend.

Fourth of July fireworks.
Tsuacctnt / Creative Commons

From picnics and parades, to historical reenactments and fireworks, there are numerous events to commemorate the Fourth of July around North Carolina this weekend.

A picture of the sun setting behind the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Ian Britton / Freefoto.com

AAA is forecasting the busiest July 4th travel weekend since 2001, in part because of a recovering economy. But with a tropical storm headed toward the Outer Banks, travelers might end up making other plans.

It's not yet clear whether Tropical Storm Arthur will make landfall in North Carolina, but Dare County is readying its hurricane action plan, just in case.

On the other side of the state, tourism is up already in Asheville this summer.

Poster
Wikipedia

What movie captures that patriotic feeling? Is it the President's speech in the 1996 hit Independence Day? Or the wholesome enthusiasm of Mr. Smith on his adventure to Washington?

As the 4th of July approaches, The State of Things movie experts Laura Boyes and Marsha Gordon look at patriotism on the big screen.

Break the Grip of the Rip sign
James Albright via Flickr, Creative Commons

Dangerous rip currents off the Carolina coast are to blame for the deaths of seven people over the 4th of July holiday. That number is double the average number of rip current deaths in a year. Community leaders are calling the tragedies a wake-up call and are trying to find ways to prevent future drownings.

Putting signs and red flags up at various beach access points is one of several ideas, says Anthony Marzano, the director of emergency services in Brunswick County, where four of the deaths took place. 

Old Salem hosted a naturalization ceremony last year on Independence Day as well.
Old Salem Museum and Gardens

Old Salem Museums and Gardens is hosting a naturalization ceremony today. The museum says the site of the ceremony is the same spot where the first official July 4th celebration in the country took place in 1783.

Luis Lobo will give the keynote speech at Thursday's naturalization ceremony, which is conducted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Lobo himself was naturalized twelve years ago. He says it makes perfect sense to hold the event at Old Salem on the 4th of July.

Fireworks at a Fort Bragg July 4th Independence Day celebration in 2008.
Susan Smith / Flickr Creative Commons

Ft. Bragg has canceled their annual 4th of July fireworks show, due to sequestration cuts. Officials there say they just couldn't handle the $80,000 in overtime costs for the annual show. People in the area organized to donate money to save the event, but any donations sent to Ft. Bragg can't be earmarked to one specific program, like the fireworks.

Fort Bragg
Fort Bragg

Fort Bragg has held its annual 4th of July celebration for more than three decades. The event that Parade Magazine placed on its 2011 'bucket list' of essential American experiences has been canceled.  Post officials say sequestration cuts that took effect last month forced the move.  Spokesman Tom McCollum says the celebration has been a popular tradition.