Why Philippines Briefly Shared 4th of July

The United States isn't the only country to ever celebrate independence on July 4. In the mid-20th century, people in the Philippines also marked July 4 as the day that they broke away from a colonizing nation. But in this case, that colonizing nation was the United States.

It's no coincidence that the Philippines shared an independence day with its former colonizer. But this overlap was short-lived. When the Philippines changed the date of its Independence Day holiday in 1962, it marked yet another step away from a long history of western interference.

Between the 16th and 19th centuries, the Philippines was a colony in the Spanish Empire. In 1896, the islands attempted to break free in what's called the Philippine Revolution, or Tagalog War. When the Spanish-American War began in 1898, some Filipinos saw an opportunity to ally with the Americans against their imperial rulers.

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