Independence Day is an important day in the United States.

In 1776, the Continental Congress declared the 13 American colonies were no longer a part of the British Empire and would be recognized as a new nation — thus asserting independence from British rule. This action led to the creation of the U.S. Constitution over a decade later.

But for years, the rights our independent nation promised only applied to certain people.

Black Americans, women, immigrants, people with disabilities, and many other communities didn't get to experience the same freedoms. Instead, to varying degrees, they experienced persecution.

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Imagine you're getting ready to drop some bad news on someone. Say, breaking off a months-long relationship.

"I'm not sure how to say this," you start. "This has been really great. Dating you has been a lot of fun. You're really wonderful. And—" You roll out a string of platitudes and compliments, dreading and delaying the part that comes next, when you finally say "It's over."

You think you're being nice. Protecting their feelings. You don't want to be coldhearted, right?

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"I’m a very sad man now that she’s gone," Leroy explained. He'd been at his wife's side the moment she died of a heart attack. "I wish I could have saved her."

Leroy, a U.S. veteran, said he'd been doing well staying sober up until that tragedy struck a few months ago. Now he's back on the streets of New Orleans, once again battling alcoholism and homelessness.

Photo courtesy of Justin Doering/Fifty Sandwiches.

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Your latest iPhone update comes with some delightfully diverse new emoji options.

Apple's iOS 10 update brings some cool new features to the table.

On Sept. 13, millions of iPhone users downloaded Apple's new iOS 10 update, bringing more than a dozen new or revamped features to the company's devices.

Some changes, such as the revamped Messages app, are bound to be appreciated more than others (sorry, Apple Music). There's one tweak, however, that users may not have even noticed: new emojis.

Eddy Cue, Apple senior vice president of internet software and services, introduces iOS 10 on June 13, 2016. Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images.

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