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Happy 4th of July! (But Do You Know What That Means?)

American flags on flag poles

On this day in 1776, the 56 delegates to the Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence. While our country recognizes a national holiday on July 4, and families across the United States are celebrating with cookouts and fireworks, a substantial number of American citizens don’t fully understand what we are celebrating. A poll done in 2022 revealed that among registered voters, more than one in five don’t know what the Declaration of Independence accomplished, and more than one in four don’t know who wrote the Declaration of Independence. In addition to this, 13% of those polled didn’t know that George Washington was the first president.

Many of the values that make American unique and great are deeply rooted in our country’s history. If voters don’t know the basics of our history, it is unlikely that they will honor these values when it comes time to vote for our elected officials.

Amidst all of the fun plans on Independence Day, it is important to remember why we are celebrating. Here are a few resources to give you a refresher! We would also encourage you to talk about these things with your children, so that if they ever get quizzed about what happened in 1776, their answer won’t be “I don’t know.”

Resources:

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