America celebrates Fourth of July with parties, parades and lots of hot dogs
America celebrates Fourth of July with parties, parades and lots of hot dogs:Ahead of Wednesday evening’s Fourth of July fireworks displays, Americans celebrated the country’s 242st birthday on the ski slopes, abroad and, in the case of the president, at their golf courses.
The holiday, which commemorates the country’s declaration of independence from British rule, is known for traditions including neighborhood block parties, local parades and Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.
This year, Joey Chestnut devoured 72 hot dogs to win his 10th championship title in the contest, held at New York’s Coney Island. Miki Sudo won the women’s competition by eating 41 hot dogs in 10 minutes.
Donald Trump and Mike Pence were scheduled to appear at a military families picnic on the White House’s south lawn for an evening Fourth of July celebration.
During the day, Trump was at his golf course in Virginia. He has visited a Trump golf course on 36 of the 165 days he has been in office, according to NBC News. On the campaign trail Trump had said he loved golf but would not have time for it as president and criticized Barack Obama for his time playing the game.
Congress is in recess this week, and a group of US senators, including Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, and John McCain, an Arizona Republican, are visiting Afghanistan. They were there to assess US strategy in the conflict, which the country has been engaged in for more than 15 years.
“Each of us may describe that concern in our own way but none of us would say that we’re on course to a success here in Afghanistan,” said McCain.
The senators were not the only prominent Americans to celebrate the holiday abroad.
On Tuesday, NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who refused to stand for the National Anthem at games, posted a video of his travels to Ghana on social media.
The holiday celebrates the ratification of the Declaration of Independence, but Kaepernick’s video referenced an aspect less frequently acknowledged. The document declared that “all men were created equal” – though it was signed by 56 men, many of whom owned slaves.
“How can we truly celebrate independence on a day that intentionally robbed our ancestors of theirs?” Kaepernick said. “To find my independence I went home”.
Thomas Jefferson’s original draft of the declaration included a condemnation of the slave trade, though that was ultimately edited out. A handwritten copy of his unedited version of the document was being displayed at the New York Public Library for the holiday.
The library was also one of dozens of sites to host a naturalization ceremony for incoming citizens tied to the Fourth of July. More than 15,000 people are set to become US citizens at Independence Day-themed ceremonies that occurred late last week and early this week.
Possible rain storms threatened Fourth of July celebrations in the midwest, south and northeast, while the western US was dominated by hot, dry, weather – increasing the likelihood of dangerous wild fires.
In California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, at least two ski resorts remained open because of heavy winter snowfall – one of a handful of times the ski resorts have continued operations into July. Squaw Valley Ski Resort and Mammoth Mountain do not have a set date to end operations and it’s possible the resorts could remain open into the autumn.
Avid skier Jackie Megnin told San Francisco local news station KPIX: “It’s just really cool that we’re able to ski into the summer and really live out this epic winter.”