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Happy 4th of July!


Independence Day.
Fourth of July.
The founding of our nation.

Family, fun & fireworks!

On this day in 1776, our thirteen original colonies declared independence from Great Britain. The Declaration of Independence document outlines our national foundation of freedom, democracy, and equality. The very first celebration was a year later in Philadelphia. Today, we mark the day with parades, picnics, and fireworks.

Historically, July is a big month for the Cooperative Extension Service as well. On July 2, 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act, providing the framework and vision for land-grant institutions and public higher education in the U.S. It was a visionary act, part of a legislative sweep that year that included...

  • Emancipation Proclamation
  • Homestead Act
  • Pacific Railroad Act
  • USDA was created as a cabinet-level agency

This legislation reflected his optimism that the Union would survive the Civil War, and also reflected an expression of the larger things the nation might accomplish. The legislation signed 162 years ago greatly impacts our lives today.

Huge thanks to each one of the 32 thousand Cooperative Extension Service professionals who selflessly serve communities all across our great country.

Our national holiday serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by those who fought for our freedom. It gives us time to reflect on what it means to be American and celebrate our diversity.

On this holiday, enjoy the company of family & friends.  Embrace the fun.  Revel at the fireworks displays. Have gratitude for where we've come.  Where we've come in recent history and since our nation's founding. We hope you find inspiration in the hope the 4th of July represents and that it reminds each of you of our collective responsibility to build a more just, equitable, and democratic society.

On behalf of the entire Extension Foundation team, we wish you all a most enjoyable holiday!

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About the Extension Foundation

This website is supported in part by New Technologies for Ag Extension (funding opportunity no. USDA-NIFA-OP-010186), grant no. 2023-41595-41325 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Extension Foundation. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of use at

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