Fifty-six delegates to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia signed the United States Declaration of Independence, a statement announcing that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain were now independent states, and thus no longer a part of the British Empire. Although the wording of the Declaration was approved by Congress on July 4, 1776, the date of its signing has been disputed. Most historians have concluded that it was signed nearly a month after its adoption, on August 2, 1776, and not on July 4 as is commonly believed.

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