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INDEPENDENCE DAY Story

On July 2, a gigantic alien mothership enters orbit around Earth and deploys several dozen saucer-shaped "destroyer" spacecraft, each 15 miles (24 km) in width. As the destroyers take positions over some of Earth's major cities, David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum), an MIT graduate working for a cable company in New York City, discovers hidden satellite transmissions which he believes to be a timer counting down to a coordinated attack by the aliens.

With the help of his ex-wife Constance Spano (Margaret Colin), a senior White House employee, he and his father Julius (Judd Hirsch) gain entrance into the Oval Office to warn President Thomas J. Whitmore (Bill Pullman) of the impending attack.

The President immediately orders large-scale evacuations of the targeted cities, but the aliens attack with advanced directed-energy weapons before these could occur. The President, his daughter, portions of his staff, and the Levinsons narrowly escape aboard Air Force One as the destroyers simultaneously lay waste to Washington, D.C, New York City, Los Angeles, and several other major cities around the world.