Fourth of July is celebrated as American Independence Day in remembrance of the day 13 colonies separated from Great Britain by signing the 'Declaration of Independence.'

The 13 colonies unanimously formed the Second Continental Congress with John Hancock as the president, who signed the independence draft on 4 July 1776, which emphasised that "all Men are created equal."

The Declaration of Independence was drafted by a committee comprising Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Roger Sherman and Robert R Livingston.

Though the draft was passed by the Continental Congress in 1776, the US Congress declared the 4th of July as a federal holiday only much later, on June 28, 1870.

People in the United States are celebrating their country's independence with fireworks, hot dog contests, carnivals and concerts.

To commemorate US Independence Day, IB Times UK has put together some moments in American history.