Today in History: Independence Day

July 4--Independence Day
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

Independence Day images

Independence Day sheet music

Independence Day historical newspaper coverage

Fourth of July historical newspaper coverage

Fourth of July image set

What Was the First Fourth of July Like? Teaching with the Library of Congress July 1, 2021

Fireworks image set

Patriotic melodies sheet music & recordings

Independence Day: Americans Celebrate the Birth of Their Nation America’s Library

Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello America’s Library

Guided Primary Source Analysis: Celebrating America

Today in History: The Call for Independence