American Independence

The Fourth of July barbecues, picnics and fireworks often overshadow the historical importance of the day. In search of the meaning of independence, here are some Web explorations to enjoy.

America's Freedom Documents4 stars

In July of 1776, bells rang out over Philadelphia, signaling the approval of Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress. Two hundred and twenty years later you can view the original document on your computer. Also available is the Constitution (original copy and complete text) and the Bill of Rights (complete text only). Fantastic!

Betsy Ross Homepage5 stars

Betsy Ross would often tell her children, grandchildren and friends of the fateful day in May, 1776 when a secret committee from the Continental Congress asked her to sew the first flag. Today the historical accuracy of her story is debated point-counterpoint on her very own web site. Also included in this fun site is how to cut a five-pointed star with a single scissor snip, flag trivia, flag etiquette, and the opportunity to contribute your own thoughts about the American flag.

Historic Valley Forge3 stars

Valley Forge was the site of the six-month encampment of the newly formed Continental Army under the command of General George Washington. Though no battle was fought there, the troops struggled and emerged victorious against the elements and low morale. This web site tells the story of Valley Forge and displays selected items from the museum. Elementary ages should visit "Kids' Page" for games and puzzles. High school students will enjoy "Unsolved Mystery of Graves and Ghosts." I liked the story of Martha Washington found under "Who Served Here".

Jamestown Rediscovery5 stars

"Jamestown Rediscovery" is an archeology project searching for the remains of 1607 Jamestown on a 22.5 acre property on Jamestown Island, Virginia. Nearly two years of excavations have uncovered over 100,000 artifacts. The current exhibit discusses how finds are dated, what the colonists ate, and trade with the Indians. Included in the "History of Jamestown" is the real story of Captain John Smith, the Algonquian Indian chief Powhatan and his eleven-year old daughter Pocahontas.

Honorable Mentions

The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!

Birth of a Nation

Star Spangled Banner Project

Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "American Independence." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 2 Jul. 1996. Web. 3 Aug. 2015. < >.

About This Page

By . Originally published July 2, 1996. Last modified July 2, 1996.

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