Things You Didn't Know About the Fourth of JulyThe Fourth of July was almost the Second of July
Americans have been celebrating independence from British rule on July 4 for more than two centuries, but a more accurate date to celebrate may actually be July 2.
While Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, it made the formal call for freedom on July 2. The Declaration of Independence became official only on Aug. 2, 1776, after members of Congress signed the document, according to the National Archives.
President John Adams wrote in a letter to his wife that July 2 should be celebrated by future generations as the "great anniversary festival" for the new nation. He almost got his wish.
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