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When Did the 4th of July Become A Federal Holiday?



The 4th of July became a federal holiday in 1870.

The first federal holiday law was enacted in 1870 and was set forth to declare holidays for federal workers.  The first federal holidays included Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year’s Day, and the Fourth of July.

To date the laws declaring federal holidays are still only legally applicable to federal workers and those residing in the District of Columbia.  Each state carries the independent authority to declare its own legal holidays and set forth any restrictions regarding the holiday.

Patriotic Symbolism

First Flag: The first flag of the United States was agreed upon in a resolution in 1777.  It had thirteen stripes alternating from red to white and thirteen white stars in a blue field-thirteen representing the number of colonies.

Today’s Flag: The modern flag still maintains the original thirteen stripes, but the stars have increased in number, each one representing a state.  The flag has changed many times with the addition of new states as the country grew.  Since 1959 with the addition of Alaska and Hawaii, there are currently fifty stars on the American flag.



Stathis, Stephen W. “Federal Holidays: Evolution and Application.” United States Senate. United States Government, 8 Feb. 1999. Web. 29 Sept. 2010.

“U.S.A. FAQs.” America – Engaging the World – N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2010.

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