The 4th of July is truly the most American of holidays because it exists as a result of unfinished government business. The Second Continental Congress officially declared the independence of the original 13 colonies from Great Britain on July 2, 1776. Congress spent the next two days debating the language of the Declaration of Independence before approving the final draft on July 4, 1776. Most of Congress never signed it until Aug. 2, and nowhere in the document does it ever mention a “declaration of independence.”
Oh, and the Declaration was written a year after the start of the Revolutionary War.