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President Salutes Veterans

Lynne Cheney reflects on America's 226th Birthday.
Photo Essay
Saluting America's Veterans.

Declaring Freedom
For 17 long, summer days in Philadelphia, a young man from Virginia worked tirelessly to draft the document that would ultimately revolutionize the world. With a quill pen and a bottle of ink, Thomas Jefferson wrote and rewrote the words that became the Declaration of Independence.

Jefferson presented his draft to a five-man committee, which included Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston. After more than 80 changes, the final Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were the only two future Presidents to sign the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration first appeared in a newspaper on July 6, 1776, and George Washington arranged for the document to be read to his troops on July 9, 1776. Celebrations to commemorate the Declaration of Independence began in 1777.

  Photo of fireworks
Live Webcast
on the National Mall display from the roof of the East Colonade of the White House.

President Bush's Independence Day

Declaration of Independence Text

Independence Timeline
Follow the moments that led to


Discover the heroism of three Revolutionary War patriots.



History Quiz
Take the Independence Day quiz.