AP PHOTOS: Americans celebrate the Fourth of July

The Associated Press
The Empire State Building, illuminated with red, white and blue lights, is seen from the Queens borough of New York, backlit by fireworks over the Hudson River, during the Macy's Fourth of July fireworks show Wednesday, July 4, 2012, in New York.  (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
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The Empire State Building, illuminated with red, white and blue lights, is seen from the Queens borough of New York, backlit by fireworks over the Hudson River, during the Macy's Fourth of July fireworks show Wednesday, July 4, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

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.

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

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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