In honor of this year’s Independence Day, Team AgLearn is providing resources and information to celebrate this Federal holiday, which annually commemorates the ratification of the Declaration of Independence on 4 July 1776.
The information below is a portion of content quoted from Secretary Tom Vilsack’s address to all USDA employees.
"The year 1776 marked the beginning of our journey to uphold the virtues of equality and unity of a still young country. In the almost two-and-a-half centuries since, Americans of all races, genders, religions, and walks of life have continued to work and sacrifice to extend freedom that was initially reserved for some to all, as we continue to strive for a more perfect union. Through setbacks, trials, and progress, the road to collective freedom has been long, winding, and rocky. As we celebrate our independence this weekend, I ask that you join me in recognizing how far we have come but have yet still to go to truly achieve freedom for all. I also ask that you join me in honoring our many dedicated civil servants, including our USDA peers and co-workers, our veterans, and the members of the armed services who have served tirelessly to ensure all Americans have safe, wholesome food on their tables, who strengthen rural economies, who promote racial justice and equity, who build new and fairer markets for farmers and producers, who address the impacts of climate change, and who protect our freedom.
As a nation, it is our duty to ensure that America’s youth and future generations live a better life than those who came before. That may come through Federal policies that support equity, or it might come in the form of funding for a new municipal water supply, a new hospital, or new county emergency response vehicles. At USDA it means continuing to offer fair and equitable service to every USDA customer and constituent."
Independence Day Background
Information from the Library of Congress External Link: “On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence, announcing the colonies’ separation from Great Britain. The Constitution provides the legal and governmental framework for the United States, however, the Declaration, with its eloquent assertion ‘all Men are created equal,’ is equally beloved by the American people.”
Relevant AgLearn Resources
- Audiobook From Skillsoft-Percipio: An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States: Revisioning American History External Link
Federal Resources for Independence Day
- Independence Day Resources from the Library of Congress External Link
- Independence Day Resources from the Smithsonian External Link
- Feature Article from the National Museum of African American History & Culture: “A Nation's Story: ‘What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?’ External Link”
- The Original Text of the Declaration of Independence from the National Archives with Additional Historical Resources External Link