On This Date July 4, 1776, 1802, 1826, 1863, 2009- Happy Birthday USA!
July 4, 1776 – Independence Day. On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of
independence from Great Britain. It was on this date that the delegates from the 13 colonies
adopted the Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson, as the listing of causes
for that separation. (John Adams of Massachusetts thought that the July 2nd date would be the
one celebrated with pageantry and fireworks.)
July 4, 1802 – the United States Military Academy opens at West Point, New York.
July 4, 1826 – Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States, dies the same day as
John Adams, second president of the United States, on the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of
the United States Declaration of Independence.
July 4, 1863 – Siege of Vicksburg: Vicksburg, Mississippi surrenders to U.S. forces under
Ulysses S. Grant after 47 days of siege. One hundred fifty miles up the Mississippi River, a
Confederate army is repulsed at the Battle of Helena, Arkansas.
July 4, 2009 – The Statue of Liberty’s crown reopens to the public after eight years of closure
due to security concerns following the September 11 attacks.