Today in Legal History: Delegates Sign Declaration of Independence

On August 2, 1776, the Continental Congressional delegates signed the Declaration of Independence, announcing that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as independent states and no longer part of the British Colonies. The American colonies formed a new nation, the United States of America. News of the Declaration of Independence arrived in London on August 10. Mary Catherine Goddard printed the first official copy of the historic document in 1777.

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Today in Legal History: Independence Day

On July 4, 1776, the First Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence and ordered it to be printed. The document was drafted by Thomas Jefferson, and served to formally sever ties with Great Britain, declaring the colonies independent. Independence Day celebrations date back to the eighteenth century, but Independence Day, or the Fourth of July, has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941.

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Why do we eat hot dogs and watch fireworks?

Everyone knows the 4th of July is Independence Day. Most everyone knows that it is Independence Day because that’s when the Declaration of Independence was signed. But how much do you really know about the Declaration itself? The National Archive houses the Declaration of Independence. It also has an online exhibit that discusses its drafting, preservation and many other fascinating topics related to the document. Law students and lawyers should take a moment to reflect on the Declaration and its relationship to American law . . . and then they should have a hot dog and blow something up.