Surprising facts about the Fourth of July
America actually declared independence on July 2, 1776
The official vote declaring the independence of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain actually occurred on July 2, 1776.
On that date, the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia. After approving independence, Congress turned its attention to how to notify King George.
A draft of the Declaration of Independence was prepared by Thomas Jefferson, working with John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin. The delegates debated and revised the Declaration, infuriating young Jefferson at least once. They finally approved it on July 4 – thus the date written on the document.
Source: "How Declaration of Independence was Drafted," New York Times, July 1, 1917