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American Independence Day

It was on this date in history, July 2, 1776, that the Continental Congress declared independence from Great Britain.

Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft of the Declaration of Independence in June 1776. The Declaration was not delivered to Great Britain until November of that year. The document was signed on August 2, 1776.

But on July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress approved the final wording of the Declaration of Independence. They'd been working on it for several days after the draft was submitted on July 2nd and finally came to agreement 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.

We have a great deal to celebrate, contemplate, work for and against, improve, refine and rejoice over this July 4. The Franklin College of Arts of Sciences, named for one of the pre-eminent signees (and most boisterous arguers about each and every one of those edits and changes) wishes you, your family, friends and neighbors a fun, safe, relaxing and patriotic 4th of July, full of all the hope and promise of the nation whose birth the day marks.

Image: Jasper Johns. Flag. 1954-55 (dated on reverse 1954). Encaustic, oil, and collage on fabric mounted on plywood, three panels. Museum of Modern Art, New York.

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