Independence Wasn’t Won on the Fourth

We’ll all celebrate July 4 as the day America gained our independence from Great Britain.

Except that this is not true.

The Continental Congress actually declared independence on July 2, which is why John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that from that day on “the Second of July, 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival." 

We celebrate July 4 as Independence Day because that’s the day the Congress approved Thomas Jefferson’s master work, the Declaration of Independence.

But a document, no matter how lofty and inspiring the words, doesn’t make anything so. The truth is that it took more than six long years of bloody war for the United States to win independence.  Remember, the fighting actually began a year before the Declaration.

America actually won her independence on Oct. 19, 1781 when Lord Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown.

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