Independence Day

On July 4 the Americans celebrate their national holiday Independence Day. The United States gained independence as a result of gradual and painful process. By the mid 1700’s, it became difficult for thirteen British colonies in the New World to be ruled by a king 3000 miles across the ocean. The British empire imposed high taxes upon the colonies.
In 1774, the First Continental Congress drew up a list of grievances against the British crown. This document was the first draft of the document that would formally separate colonies from England. In 1775, the Revolutionary War began. On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress presented a second draft of the list of grievances. On July 4, the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of independence. But the War of independence lasted until 1783. After the war Independence Day became an official holiday. On July 4, Americans have holiday from work. People have day-long picnics with favorite foods like hot dogs, ham-burgers, potato salad, baked beans. Lively music is heard everywhere. People play baseball or compete at three-legged races or pieeating or water-melon-eating contests.
Some cities have parades with people dressed as the original founding fathers who march to the music of high school bands. In the evening people gather to watch firework displays. Wherever Americans are around the globe they will get together to celebrate Independence Day.

Questions:
1. When do Americans celebrate Independence Day?
2. Was the process of gaining independence easy?
3. What was the draft of the Declaration of independence?
4. When was the Declaration of independence approved?
5. Do Americans work on this day?
6. What is the traditional July 4 meal?
7. What activities are popular on this day?

Vocabulary:
independence — независимость
to celebrate — праздновать
gradual — постепенный
painful — болезненный
to impose taxes — облагать налогами
grievance — претензия
draft — проект
Revolutionary War — война за независимость
War of independence = Revolutionary War
Continental Congress — континентальный конгресс
to approve — утвердить
Declaration of independence — Декларация независимости
tree-legged races — бег наперегонки в парах; у каждой
пары две ноги связаны
pie-eating/water-melon-eating contests — соревнование,
цель которого съесть как можно больше пирога или арбузов
founding fathers — отцы-основатели
firework — фейерверк