Independence Day is well known as the celebration of the day the 13 American colonies declared independence from Great Britain.  But it has not always been a federal holiday.

In fact, the Fourth of July didn't become a paid federal holiday until 1941.  According to History, Independence Day has been celebrated as early as the 18th century with the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Independence Day gained traction as a celebration after the War of 1812 when the British tried to retake the United States.

It wouldn't be until 1870 when Congress would make July 4th a federal holiday.

Fireworks, barbecues, and parades have always been a part of the Independence Day celebration, before and after the federal government made it an official holiday.

Despite it becoming less of a political celebration, it is still one of the most celebrated holidays in the country.