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Fourth of July festivities: US celebrates its 242nd birthday with a brilliant firework display

07/07/2018
Fourth of July festivities: US celebrates its 242nd birthday with a brilliant firework display

With backyard barbecues and fireworks, Americans celebrated Independence Day by participating in time-honored traditions that expressed pride in their country's 242nd birthday. But this quintessential American holiday was being marked with a sense of a United States divided for some, evidenced by competing televised events in the nation's capital. From New York to California, July Fourth festivities ranged from the lively and to the lighthearted, with Macy's July Fourth fireworks and Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest. Seen here are boaters on the Potomac River in Washington watch the fireworks display on the National Mall, on Wednesday (AP Photo)

US President Donald Trump, right, accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump, are silhouetted as they stand on the Truman Balcony during the Fourth of July Celebration on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The day's events also were stately and traditional, with parades lining streets across the country and the world's oldest commissioned warship firing a 21-gun salute to mark the 242 years since the signing of the Declaration of Independence. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

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