July 4, 1776 (236 years ago)
Happy Birthday, America!
The United States Declaration of Independence was finally adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain were now independent states, and thus no longer a part of the British Empire. Written by Thomas Jefferson, with the help of John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, the Declaration is the formal explanation of why Congress had voted on July 2 to declare independence from Great Britain, more than a year after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. Although the wording of the Declaration was approved on July 4, the date of its signing has been disputed. Most historians have concluded that it was signed nearly a month after its adoption, on August 2, 1776, and not on July 4 as is commonly believed. However, the birthday of the United States of America, Independence Day, is celebrated on July 4, the day the wording of the Declaration was approved by Congress.