Flags, fireworks, picnics...Independence Day (the 4th of July) is celebrated each year as the birthday of the United States of America. Do you know why?
It was on July 4, 1776, that the Continental Congress approved a written document we call the Declaration of Independence. This document declared that the British colonies in North America had the right to be their own nation, no longer under the rule of the King of Great Britain. This declaration led to war, as many feared it would; yet the Revolutionary War helped to establish the freedoms that we enjoy in this land today.
Approving the Declaration made it official even though it wasn't signed until almost a month later. Don't forget, this was in the days before computers. The draft document was too rough and marked with corrections, so Congress had a new copy made. This copy was to be written in a fancy style and without errors or corrections, on parchment (which lasted longer than other kinds of paper). Naturally, this took some time. The official document was actually signed on August 2nd.
Get to know some of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence with this fund of fascinating facts!
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