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US Independence Day: Concerts, fireworks and a military parade mark Fourth of July

Updated : 2019-07-05 10:42:26

The national holiday to mark America's birth as a country has been filled with parades, concerts, competitive eating and, of course, fireworks. Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, New York and other places around the country are holding massive celebrations with big-name artists like Jennifer Hudson, Luke Bryan, and Carole King. But Independence Day won't be free from politics, as President Donald Trump's plan for a celebration in Washington featuring a display of tanks, fighter jets, and a stealth bomber is garnering support from some and protests from others. The nation's oldest continuous Fourth of July celebration took place in Bristol, Rhode Island. The events began on Flag Day and culminated with a parade on July Fourth that drew tens of thousands. The annual celebration began in the seaside town in 1785. A soggy, cheering crowd of spectators listened to President Donald Trump pay tribute to the US military on the grounds of the Lincoln Memorial. Trump's speech unfolded in occasional rain, and the warplanes and presidential aircraft he had summoned conducted their flyovers as planned, capped by the Navy Blue Angels aerobatics team. Supporters roared, but protesters also assailed the show, saying it put the president center stage on a holiday traditionally devoted to unity. By adding his own, one-hour "Salute to America" production to capital festivities that typically draw hundreds of thousands anyway, Trump became the first president in nearly seven decades to address a crowd at the National Mall on Independence Day. Earlier in the day, Washington held its traditional Fourth of July parade.

President Donald Trump looks up during the military flyovers at the Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington. The Washington Monument is in the background. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Donald Trump looks up during the military flyovers at the Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington. The Washington Monument is in the background. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Donald Trump speaks in the rain behind glass during an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Donald Trump speaks in the rain behind glass during an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Fireworks light the sky near the Lincoln Memorial, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Fireworks light the sky near the Lincoln Memorial, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Fireworks explode over the National Mall during the Independence Day celebrations in Washington, Thursday, July 4, 2019, after President Donald Trump's
Fireworks explode over the National Mall during the Independence Day celebrations in Washington, Thursday, July 4, 2019, after President Donald Trump's "Salute to America'"remarks at the Lincoln Memorial. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Fireworks light the sky over Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and US Capitol, at the National Mall, during the Independence Day celebrations in Washington on Thursday, July 4, 2019, after President Donald Trump's 'Salute to America' remarks at Lincoln Memorial. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Fireworks light the sky over Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and US Capitol, at the National Mall, during the Independence Day celebrations in Washington on Thursday, July 4, 2019, after President Donald Trump's 'Salute to America' remarks at Lincoln Memorial. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
People watch fireworks on the National Mall in Washington during Independence Day celebrations, Thursday, July 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
People watch fireworks on the National Mall in Washington during Independence Day celebrations, Thursday, July 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
The US Navy Blue Angels flight demonstration team performs a flyover above the Lincoln Memorial during Independence Day celebrations, Thursday, July 4, 2019, on the National Mall in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
The US Navy Blue Angels flight demonstration team performs a flyover above the Lincoln Memorial during Independence Day celebrations, Thursday, July 4, 2019, on the National Mall in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
People on the east side of Manhattan watch a fireworks display, part of Independence Day festivities, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Jeenah Moon)
People on the east side of Manhattan watch a fireworks display, part of Independence Day festivities, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Jeenah Moon)
The Lincoln Memorial is enveloped in smoke as fireworks burst along the Potomac River in celebration of Independence Day in Washington, Thursday, July 4, 2019. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)
The Lincoln Memorial is enveloped in smoke as fireworks burst along the Potomac River in celebration of Independence Day in Washington, Thursday, July 4, 2019. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)
The EQT Flashes of Freedom Fireworks go off over the confluence of three rivers, Thursday, July 4, 2019, as seen from West End-Elliott Overlook Park in West End in Pittsburgh. (Michael M. Santiago/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)
The EQT Flashes of Freedom Fireworks go off over the confluence of three rivers, Thursday, July 4, 2019, as seen from West End-Elliott Overlook Park in West End in Pittsburgh. (Michael M. Santiago/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)
The US Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon arrives to perform during an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
The US Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon arrives to perform during an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Audience members celebrate during an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Audience members celebrate during an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump gather with others on stage as the Blue Angels, the United States Navy's flight demonstration squadron, flies overhead during an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump gather with others on stage as the Blue Angels, the United States Navy's flight demonstration squadron, flies overhead during an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
US Navy flight demonstration team, The Blue Angels, fly over Washington during an Independence Day celebration attended by President Donald Trump at the Lincoln Memorial, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
US Navy flight demonstration team, The Blue Angels, fly over Washington during an Independence Day celebration attended by President Donald Trump at the Lincoln Memorial, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive for an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive for an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Donald Trump, standing with first lady Melania Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and others, watch as the US Navy Blue Angels flyover during an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Thursday, July 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)
President Donald Trump, standing with first lady Melania Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and others, watch as the US Navy Blue Angels flyover during an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Thursday, July 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)
U.S. Army planes fly over Washington during an Independence Day celebration attended by President Donald Trump at the Lincoln Memorial, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
U.S. Army planes fly over Washington during an Independence Day celebration attended by President Donald Trump at the Lincoln Memorial, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
President Donald Trump, accompanied by Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford left, and Acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper, right, watch as aircraft fly overhead during an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Donald Trump, accompanied by Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford left, and Acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper, right, watch as aircraft fly overhead during an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
The Washington Monument is visible as the US Navy Blue Angels flyover at the conclusion of President Donald Trump's Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
The Washington Monument is visible as the US Navy Blue Angels flyover at the conclusion of President Donald Trump's Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Donald Trump gives first lady Melania Trump a kiss as he arrives to speak at an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Thursday, July 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)
President Donald Trump gives first lady Melania Trump a kiss as he arrives to speak at an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Thursday, July 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)
The US Navy Blue Angels flyover as President Donald Trump speaks during an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Thursday, July 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)
The US Navy Blue Angels flyover as President Donald Trump speaks during an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Thursday, July 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive for an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive for an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Donald Trump, standing with first lady Melania Trump and others, waves to the crowd following his speech at an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Thursday, July 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)
President Donald Trump, standing with first lady Melania Trump and others, waves to the crowd following his speech at an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Thursday, July 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)
The Lincoln Memorial is seen above the audience gathered for an Independence Day celebration, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington, with President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
The Lincoln Memorial is seen above the audience gathered for an Independence Day celebration, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington, with President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
The Blue Angels, the United States Navy's flight demonstration squadron, flies over the Lincoln Memorial during an Independence Day celebration with President Donald Trump, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
The Blue Angels, the United States Navy's flight demonstration squadron, flies over the Lincoln Memorial during an Independence Day celebration with President Donald Trump, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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