July Fourth Festivities Around The U.S. Guy Raz takes a look at the festivities across the nation honoring this Fourth of July.

July Fourth Festivities Around The U.S.

July Fourth Festivities Around The U.S.

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Guy Raz takes a look at the festivities across the nation honoring this Fourth of July.

GUY RAZ, host:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

Ceremony and celebration across the country this Fourth of July weekend. It's been 233 years since 13 colonies declared independence from Great Britain. And in his weekly address to the nation, President Barack Obama compared the struggles of America's founders with the nation's current political and economic problems.

President BARACK OBAMA: We as a people did not get here by standing pat in a time of change. We didn't get here by doing what was easy, that's not how a cluster of 13 colonies became the United States of America. We're not of people who fear the future. We're of people who make it. And on this July 4th, we need to summon that spirit once more.

RAZ: President Obama and his family host their first Fourth of July at the White House. They'll watch fireworks in the South Lawn along with 1,200 military families they invited over for a barbecue.

Grills all over the country, from the White House to Washington state, were fired up today. And one of the biggest grills in the country is at Coney Island, site of Nathan's famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. If you taped it to watch later, you might want to turn your radio down.

For the third year in a row, Joseph Jaws Chestnut beat out Takeru Kobayashi for the win. Here's the analysis from ESPN.

(Soundbite of TV program, ESPN)

Unidentified Man: We're going to pick it up at the very, very end. Chestnut took a three-dog lead. And we all know, once you have a three-dog lead in this competition, you're in pretty good shape. The two gentlemen coming down the stretch here. And again, buns as well, not just hot dogs.

Unidentified Woman: No. Buns as well.

Unidentified Man: Again, to my knowledge, no condiments though.

RAZ: Joey Jaws Chestnut ate a record 68 franks in 10 minutes. He says he's going to have a Cobb salad with ranch for dinner this evening.

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