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Most Americans will spend Thursday marking the birth of their nation 237 years ago, with the founding fathers' adoption of the Declaration of Independence. July 4th celebrates the American colonies' independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the establishment of the United States as a nation self-evidently free to pursue happiness and hot dog-eating records. So Happy Birthday, America!

[rebelmouse-image 27087092 alt="""" original_size="320x213" expand=1] (photo: victor grigas)

Of course the many nations of the planet have their various tales of freedom and independence, sources of patriotic fervor and national mythology. So as the world watches the world's current superpower enjoy the annual day of drinking its own Kool-Aid, here are some other national celebrations -- old and less old -- that get celebrated each year...

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Donetsk People's Republic holds referendum on joining Russia

Irene Caselli, Cameron Manley, Bertrand Hauger and Emma Albright

Russia's proxies in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia regions announced that referendums on joining Russia had begun that Ukrainian and Western officials have denounced as shams.

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For four days, "voting" will be held at people's homes "for security reasons," Russian state-controlled news agency RIA Novosti wrote. On the last day of the "referendums," on September 27, locals will be asked to go to "polling stations."

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