The Library will be closed on Friday, July 4th, 2014 in observance of Independence Day
|[dropcap]O[/dropcap]On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence, announcing the 13 colonies’ separation from Great Britain and setting them on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation.
Philadelphians marked the first anniversary of American independence with a spontaneous celebration, which is described in a letter by John Adams to Abigail Adams). However, observing Independence Day only became commonplace after the War of 1812. Soon, events such as groundbreaking ceremonies for the Erie Canal and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad were scheduled to coincide with July 4th festivities.
By the 1870s, the Fourth of July was the most important secular holiday on the calendar. Congress passed a law making Independence Day a federal holiday on June 28, 1870.
Source: Library of Congress, American Memory