"Resolved, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved."Passed by the Second Continental Congress on this day in 1776, 12 of 13 colonies in favor and, prophetically enough, New York abstaining.
You can thank Richard Henry Lee for the resolution, a Founder who barely saw the new republic formalized: he was a U. S. Senator from 1789 - 92 and died in 1794.
This is the day John Adams figured we'd be letting off fireworks and whooping it up in the streets. He'll get just that from Roseholme Cottage this year, as it's supposed to rain pretty well for the other two days of the extended weekend.