The Most Memorable Day in the History of America: July 2, 1776

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On 2 July 1776, the Continental Congress resolved "That these United Colonies are, and of right, ought to be, Free and Independent States." In a letter written to Abigail Adams on 3 July 1776, John Adams reflected on the event and summed up what it meant for Americans of his own time and in the future. He writes that the day will be celebrated with, "Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other." Adams seems to have understood more clearly than any other member of the Continental Congress the momentous importance of the vote for independence on 2 July, 1776 and how it should be celebrated. He was right about everything except the date. On 2 July, in celebration of America's independence, the MHS will open an exhibition of letters and documents relating to this important moment in United States history. The exhibition will be on display through 31 August.