Congress debated and revised the Declaration (the legal separation of the American colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776), finally approving it on July 4. A day earlier, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail:
More information about the 4th of July (really the 2nd of July, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress) can be found HERE.
The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.
I hope you all have a happy, safe 4th of July and remember why and what we are celebrating!