Friday, July 4, 2014

Freedom's Jubilee

This is a day of memory--July 4, 1776. July 4 is the day Independence Day is celebrated in the United States and it is usually thought of as the day representing the Declaration of Independence and the birth of the United States of America as an independent nation.

However . . .
July 4, 1776 wasn't the day that the Continental Congress decided to declare independence (they did that on July 2, 1776). It wasn’t the day we started the American Revolution either (that had happened back in April 1775). And it wasn't the day Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft of the Declaration of Independence (that was in June 1776). Or the date on which the Declaration was delivered to Great Britain (that didn't happen until November 1776). Or the date it was signed (that was August 2, 1776).

The Continental Congress approved the final wording of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. They'd been working on it for a couple of days after the draft was submitted on July 2nd and finally agreed on all of the edits and changes. July 4, 1776, became the date that was included on the Declaration of Independence, and the fancy handwritten copy that was signed in August (the copy now displayed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.) It’s also the date that was printed on the Dunlap Broadsides, the original printed copies of the Declaration that were circulated throughout the new nation. So when people thought of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776 was the date they remembered. (source:


  1. How cool! I had never heard this before! Thank you--I LOVE history. Sometimes the facts get lost in time. It is folks like you and those of us who love history, who keep the facts of what really happened, in hand. Happy Fourth of July! And lots of applause for good editors!

    Have a fun Fourth of July, and Happy Postcard Friendship Friday. (grin)

  2. Isn't is amazing that they could agree on the wording of the final draft after only a couple days of writing?!


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