Independence Day, first observed in Boston in 1783 and always observed throughout the nation on July 4, is one of the more, if the not the most, significant national holidays. The day has been set aside to celebrate the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress in 1776.
That document, written by Thomas Jefferson and signed by 56 fearless patriots of the American colonies, is the foundational document of our nation. Francis Samuel Philbrick, a professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania, called it, "The best known and the noblest of American papers."
The adoption of that document was, indeed, momentous, for it dissolved all political bands that connected the colonies to Great Britain and enabled them to assume "among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and Nature's God entitle them." In the words of Abraham Lincoln, that act "brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." In 1832, that nation was described by Samuel F. Smith as the "sweet land of liberty."