The Declaration of Independence was ultimately a formal explanation of why the Continental Congress had voted on July 2 to declare independence from Great
Britain, more than a year after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. The Independence Day of the United States of America is celebrated on July 4, the day Congress approved the wording of the Declaration.
After ratifying the text on July 4, Congress issued the Declaration of Independence
in several forms. It was initially published as a printed poster that was widely
distributed and read to the public. The most famous version of the Declaration, a
signed copy that is usually regarded as the Declaration of Independence, is
displayed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Although the wording of the Declaration was approved on July 4, the date of its signing was August 2. The
original July 4 United States Declaration of Independence manuscript was lost
while all other copies have been derived from this original document
Yale University’s copy of the Dunlap broadside. The Dunlap broadsides
were the first published copies of the Declaration of Independence,
printed on the night of July 4, 1776. It is unknown exactly how many
broadsides were originally printed.