So why do we celebrate July 4th as Independence Day?
John Hancock, who was the president of the Continental Congress, signed first, right in the middle of the area for signatures. The last delegate to sign, according to the National Archives, is believed to be Thomas McKean of Delaware, some time in 1777.
The city of Philadelphia, where the Declaration was signed, waited until July 8 to celebrate, with a parade and the firing of guns. The Continental Army under the leadership of George Washington didn’t learn about it until July 9.
As for the British government in London, well, it didn’t know that the United States had declared independence until Aug. 30.