AP PHOTOS: Americans celebrate the Fourth of July

By The Associated Press | July 5, 2012 | 9:36 AM EDT

Fireworks light up the sky during the Freedom Over Texas annual Fourth of July celebration on Wednesday, July 4, 2012, in Houston. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Smiley N. Pool)

Across the United States, Americans celebrated 236 years of independence with backyard barbeques, family gatherings and, of course, fireworks.

Many celebrations were scaled-down or canceled due to weather-related power outages and concerns of spreading wildfires amid dry, hot weather. But many more went on as planned.

Hundreds of thousands from the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic were spending the Fourth of July like America's founders did in 1776: Without the conveniences of electricity and air conditioning.

In the nation's capital, thousands of visitors from across the country took part in Independence Day celebrations despite high temperatures and the threat of thunderstorms.


Here's a photo gallery from Fourth of July celebrations across the U.S.


Read more about the Fourth of July: http://apne.ws/O4NrL9

AP Essay: In divided era, what does July 4th mean? http://apne.ws/O4NGG3