During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia.
The resolution stated: "These United Colonies are & of right ought to be Free & Independent States."
After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the Declaration, finally approving it on July 4.
On July 2, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed The Civil Rights Act of 1964 into the law of the land. The photograph below depicts President Johnson handing a pen from the ceremony to the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.