Betsy Ross flagcurrent flag of the United States of AmericaGadsden flag "Don't Tread On Me"

Independence day

Common men, uncommon dedication

History of the
Declaration of Independence

From the National Archives
Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams
Regarding the 4th of July

John Adams’ famous letter of July 3, 1776, in which he wrote to his wife Abigail what his thoughts were about celebrating the Fourth of July is found on various web sites but is usually incorrectly quoted. Following is the exact text from his letter with his original spellings:
Concord Bridge Patriots
I wish it were as simple as grabbing a musket and heading for the bridge
Our Favorite Founding Father
When the colonial governor offered a blanket amnesty to colonials who would lay down their arms, he specifically refused to pardon only Samuel Adams and John Hancock.
My Name is Freedom
and I am Very Much Alive
I was never born, and I will never die. I am Freedom.
God, Guts, and Guns Made America Great
We cannot bring our fallen heroes back, but together we can get this country back on track.
Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms
July 6, 1775
The Price They Paid
Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?
What We Should Celebrate
This Independence Day
The role of government is limited to protecting those rights, not making up new ones, such as Franklin Roosevelt's "freedom from fear."
Our National Anthem
The Star Spangled Banner

History and Origins of the Gadsden Flag
“'Tis curious and amazing to observe how distinct and independent of each other the rattles of this animal are, and yet how firmly they are united together, so as never to be separated but by breaking them to pieces. One of those rattles singly, is incapable of producing sound, but the ringing of thirteen together, is sufficient to alarm the boldest man living.”
Gadsden Flag


Timeline of events leading to the
Revolutionary War
and beyond


The Founders' Library
The Founder's Library
Everything from the Declaration of Rights and Grievances
to Jefferson's rough draft of the Declaration of Independence.


A User's Guide to the
Declaration of Independence


Our Nation's Symbol

I am The Flag
Our Flag
It's evolution, meaning, rules for displaying.
Also flag trivia and FAQs.
How did our flag become known as
"Old Glory"?


Freedom is worth dying to preserve

Chronology of major events in the evolution of
The United States of America
from the Colonial Period to the end of the Civil War


The Colonial Period: 1497-1763

  • 1497: John Cabot lands in North America.
  • 1513: Ponce de Leon claims Florida for Spain.
  • 1524: Verrazano explores North American Coast.
  • 1539-1542: Hernando de Soto explores the Mississippi River Valley.
  • 1540-1542: Coronado explores what will be the Southwestern United States.
  • 1565: Spanish found the city of St. Augustine in Florida.
  • 1579: Sir Francis Drake explores the coast of California.
  • 1607: British establish Jamestown Colony.
  • 1608: French establish colony at Quebec.
  • 1609: United Provinces establish claims in North America.
  • 1612: Tobacco cultivation introduced in Virginia.
  • 1619: First African slaves brought to British America.
    • Virginia begins a representative assembly.
  • 1620: Plymouth Colony is founded.
  • 1636: Rhode Island is founded.
    • Harvard College is founded.
  • 1650-1696: The Navigation Acts are enacted by Parliament.
  • 1663: Charles II grants charter for Carolina colonies.
  • 1682: Pennsylvania is founded by William Penn.
  • 1689-1713: King William's War (The War of the League of Augsburg).
  • 1692: The Salem Witchcraft Trials.
  • 1696: Parliamentary Act.
  • 1699-1750: Restrictions on colonial manufacturing.
  • 1702-1713: Queen Anne's War (War of the Spanish Succession).
  • 1733: Georgia Colony is founded.
  • 1740-1748: King George's War (War of the Austrian Succession).
  • 1740s: The Great Awakening.
  • 1754-1763: The French and Indian War
  • 1763: Treaty of Paris ends the French and Indian War.

The Revolutionary War Era: 1763-1789

  • 1763: Proclamation of 1763 restricts settlement west of the Appalachians
  • 1764: The Sugar and Currency Acts are passed.
  • 1765: The Stamp Act is passed.
  • 1767: The Townsend Acts are passed.
  • 1770: The Boston Massacre.
  • 1772: Samuel Adams organizes the Committees of Correspondence.
  • 1773: The Tea Act is passed; the Boston Tea Party
  • 1774: The Intolerable Acts are passed.
    • The First Continental Congress convenes in Philadelphia.
  • 1775: Battles of Lexington and Concord
    • The Second Continental Congress convenes.
  • 1776: American Declaration of Independence
    • Thomas Paine's Common Sense
    • Battles of Long Island and Trenton
  • 1777: Battle of Saratoga
    • Congress adopts the Articles of Confederation.
    • Vermont ends slavery.
  • 1778: Treaty of Alliance between the United States and France.
  • 1779: Spain declares war on England.
  • 1781: British surrender at Yorktown.
  • 1783: Treaty of Peace is signed.
  • 1785: Land Ordinance of 1785.
  • 1786: Shay's Rebellion.
  • 1787: Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.
    • James Madison develops principles for the US Constitution
    • Northwest Ordinance.

The Early Republic: 1789-1823

  • 1789: George Washington is inaugurated first President.
  • 1791: The Bill of Rights is ratified.
    • First Bank of the United States is established.
  • 1793: Eli Whitney invents the Cotton Gin.
  • 1794: The Whiskey Rebellion.
  • 1795: Jay Treaty is ratified.
  • 1796: Washington's Farewell Address.
  • 1798: Alien and Sedition Acts
  • 1803: Louisiana Purchase.
    • Supreme Court declares parts of the Judiciary Act of 1789 unconstitutional.
  • 1804: New Jersey ends slavery.
  • 1804-1806: Lewis and Clark Expedition.
  • 1807: Robert Fulton builds his first steamboat.
  • 1808: African Slave Trade ends.
  • 1809: Non-intercourse Act.
  • 1812-1814: The War of 1812.
  • 1820: Missouri Compromise.
  • 1823: Monroe Doctrine declared

The Civil War Era: 1820-1865

  • 1820: The Missouri Compromise
  • 1825: The Erie Canal is opened.
  • 1830s: The Second Great Awakening.
  • 1830: Baltimore and Ohio Railroad begins operation.
  • 1831: The Liberator begins publication.
    • Nat Turner Rebellion
    • Cyrus McCormick invents the reaper.
  • 1831-1838: The Trail of Tears--Southern Indians are removed to Oklahoma.
  • 1836: The Gag Rule.
  • 1837: US recognizes the Republic of Texas.
    • Oberlin College enrolls its first women students.
  • 1843: Oregon Trail opens.
  • 1845: Annexation of Texas
  • 1846: Elias Howe invents the sewing machine.
  • 1846-1848: Mexican-American War.
  • 1848: Gold is discovered at Sutter's Mill in California.
    • Women's Rights Convention is held in Seneca Falls, NY.
  • 1850: Compromise of 1850.
  • 1853: Commodore Matthew Perry opens Japan to US trade.
  • 1854: The Kansas-Nebraska Act
  • 1857: The Dred Scott decision.
  • 1860-1865: The Civil War
    • 1860: Abraham Lincoln is elected; South Carolina secedes.
    • 1861: The Civil War begins.
    • 1863: The Emancipation Proclamation.
    • 1865: The Civil War ends.
      • Thirteenth Amendment is ratified.


2 July 1999
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2 July 2006
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2 July 2010
2 July 2016
3 July 2021
13 may 2023