The Statue of Liberty, shut last year after Superstorm Sandy, has reopened to the public on Independence Day.
Crowds are flocking once again to see the New York monument, which was swamped by tidal surges during post-tropical cyclone Sandy in October.
Events are also being held in Boston, Washington, Atlanta, Philadelphia and New Orleans to mark the US holiday.
Security precautions will be tight at major parades and fireworks displays.
The 151-ft Statue of Liberty reopened on Thursday morning at a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by New York’s mayor.
Most of Liberty Island, the attraction’s home off lower Manhattan, was deluged by last autumn’s powerful storm.
Although the 127-year-old Lady Liberty herself was unscathed, there was widespread damage to her 12-acre site.
Railings, docks and paving stones were smashed, while electrical systems, sewerage and boilers were wrecked.
Hundreds of National Park Service workers have been cleaning up the mud and debris, with some repairs still under way.
The neighboring Ellis Island, once the nation’s busiest gateway and home to a famous immigration museum, suffered far worse in the storm and remains closed.
The damage to both islands has been estimated at $59 million.
The Statue of Liberty, shut last year after Superstorm Sandy, has reopened to the public on Independence Day
“This to us, Liberty Island, is really about a rebirth,” Heather Leykam, who came to see the statue with her husband and three children from their home in Brooklyn, told the Associated Press news agency.
“It is a sense of renewal for the city and the country.”
New York City will later stage its annual fireworks display over the Hudson River with live performances by Taylor Swift and others.
At nearby Coney Island in Brooklyn, hungry competitors gathered for the annual Nathan’s Famous hotdog-eating contest.
Joey “Jaws” Chestnut devoured 69 hotdogs and buns in 10 minutes to beat his own world record, successfully defending his title for the seventh time.
The women’s event was won by Sonya Thomas, who scoffed nearly 37 hotdogs and buns in the same time.
Across the country, star-spangled bunting will be rolled out for celebrations, picnics and barbecues.
Boston is to stage its first major public gathering since the deadly bombings at the city’s marathon on April 15. Law enforcement officials have said those blasts were originally intended for 4th of July.
A US national security official told Reuters news agency on Wednesday that intelligence agencies were unaware of any plot timed to coincide with the holiday.
Police will use hand-held chemical detectors, radiation scanners and camera surveillance to screen crowds at some of Thursday’s events.
In Washington, a 17-minute fireworks display will take place on the National Mall with live music by Barry Manilow and Neil Diamond.
Independence Day commemorates the Declaration of Independence on 4 July 1776 from Great Britain during the war of the American Revolution.
Chelsea Clinton lives in a $4 million apartment in one of Manhattan’s most prestigious buildings but she has still been left without power and hot water – just like the rest of lower Manhattan.
Chelsea Clinton, 32, lives with her husband Marc Mezvinsky in the Flatiron district of the city.
Yesterday she revealed that the couple had been battling through the past few days without moving out of their home.
Chelsea Clinto tweeted: “Although we still don’t have power, @Starbucks holiday cup & the barista’s smile brightened my day – thank you!”
She has been recording the storm that devastated the East Coast from her multi-million dollar home and has been tweeting pictures of the scenes.
Earlier this week, Chelsea Clinton posted a picture of a desolate Manhattan just hours after the blackout on Monday night.
She also admitted that she was happy her mother, secretary of state Hillary Clinton, was out of the country, adding: “Grateful my Mom is away from #Sandy and in Algeria working toward peace in #Mali.”
Chelsea Clinton said that she was staying at home with her husband and their dog Soren, adding: “Marc, Soren and I are at home with candles, kindles and canned food! Any must-read recommendations for waiting out a storm?”
Chelsea Clinton and her husband Marc Mezvinsky have been left without power and hot water in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy
She later thanked followers for their book recommendations, adding: “esp loved those who suggested Sound & Fury and Perfect Storm. Glad Sandy didn’t take our collective sense of humor.”
Chelsea Clinton found the time to wish her good friend, millionairess Ivanka Trump happy birthday on Tuesday – just a day after the blackout.
Ivanka Trump, her husband Jared Kushner and their baby daughter Arabella have been fine, of course, as they have had power at their $20 million apartment at Trump Park Avenue.
Marc Mezvinsky, 33, a former investment banker bought their apartment in 2008 for $4 million – two years before their marriage.
After being dogged by rumors their marriage was in trouble, the notoriously private couple set the record straight in September as Marc Mezvinsky called Chelsea Clinton “the yin to [his] yang”, while she admits to wanting children “in a couple of years, hopefully…God willing”.
Her chief of staff, Bari Lurie said: “What put a strain on them was that the stories were being written because none of us were paying attention to it
“It was an eye-opening lesson. Chelsea realized, <<Maybe I need to get out there and demystify myself a little bit>>.”
But though they have been married for over two years now, Chelsea Clinton and her husband are yet to have any children.
And though her mother, Hillary Clinton is desperate for her daughter and son-in-law to hurry up on the grandchildren front, Chelsea is not to be rushed.
Chelsea Clinton admitted: “It’s certainly something that Marc and I talk a lot about. I always knew I was the center of my parents’ lives when I was growing up. And I am determined that our children feel the same way.”
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