Americans are celebrating the Fourth of July, this country's Independence Day.
In cities and towns, large and small, across the United States, Americans will take part in parades and picnics, listen to concerts and watch fireworks displays.
Many communities will offer public readings of the Declaration of Independence, signed 228 years ago on July 4, 1776, which declared 13 colonies free from British rule.
Many Americans will display the Stars and Stripes outside their homes.
Special security measures are in effect in major cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Washington, a reminder of the 2001 terror attacks. The Department of Homeland Security has urged Americans to remain vigilant, but says there is no specific threat of attack this holiday weekend.