Independence day, is a federal holiday in the United States honoring the signing and adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. The declaration declared independence from Great Britain. If you are starting research on the signing of the Declaration of Independence and its subsequent holiday, or are just interestedin finding out more facts about the birth of our nation, don't miss these great resources!
USA.gov is a good place to start. The landing page links to original source documents that can only be found at the National Archives and the Library of Congress. There are also pages referenced that describe the different ways people celebrate this holiday, and how the fireworks tradition started.
The National Archives has a Youtube Channel that is helpful with a variety of behind the scenes videos. You can learn about how the actual document is preserved and even listen to a reading of the Declaration.
The History Channel also has a number of short videos about the HIstory of the 4th of July including a fun, two minute, trivia-filled segment called "Bet You Didn't Know: Independence Day."
If you are looking for more information about the actual signers, Independence Hall Association, a non profit organization based in Philadelphia, PA has an entire site dedicated to the 56 signers that features short biographies. The largest signature is that of John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress. Two future presidents signed the Declaration: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Do you know who the youngest signer was?That was Edward Rutledge at age 26. Benjamin Franklin (age 70) was the oldest.
If you need to dig a little deeper about each signer, don't forget to use the library's Biography Resource Center.
Not enough information covered here? Check out the reads below, or contact a librarian!