Today in History–July 4–the Library of Congress features Independence Day, marking the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence on this day in 1776. The first anniversary was a spontaneous celebration, as John Adams recounted in a letter to his daughter Abigail. After the War of 1812, Independence Day celebrations became more common. Learn more by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access stories and primary sources related to all-American celebration.
Independence Day documents books, articles, printed ephemera
What to the Slave is the Fourth of July? Frederick Douglass 1852
“What, to the American Slave, Is Your 4th of July?” Headlines & Heroes blog July 15, 2020
What Was the First Fourth of July Like? Teaching with the Library of Congress July 1, 2021
Patriotic melodies sheet music & recordings
Independence Day: Americans Celebrate the Birth of Their Nation America’s Library