Independence Day

Featured Content Updated July 3, 2018 - July 4th is observed as the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776


Independence Day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, by the Continental Congress declaring that the thirteen American colonies were no longer part of the British Empire, but now the United States of America.


S. Doc. 111-4 - Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence, Pocket Edition

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Did you know?

  • There is a message written upside-down across the bottom on the back of the Declaration of Independence that reads, “Original Declaration of Independence dated 4th July 1776.” It’s thought that the text was added as a label.
  • In 1870, July 4th became a National holiday, but it was not until 1941 that the provision was expanded to grant a paid holiday to all Federal workers.
  • The Continental Congress voted in favor of independence on July 2, 1776, but July 4, 1776, was the day when the delegates actually adopted the Declaration of Independence.

"The Second Day of July 1776 will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. . . It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more."
John Adams, in a letter to his wife Abigail, predicting July 2 would be the day America would celebrate its independence

Purchase a printed copy of the Constitution of the United States and Declaration of Independence (Pocket Edition) as well as related publications, from GPO's online bookstore.


Learn more about the history of Independence Day from the National Park Service’s History of Independence Day and Today in History - July 4 from the Library of Congress.