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This Month in History: July

Extend your social studies instruction with informative and inspiring content from HMH®, HISTORY®, Google® Field Trips, and the Center for Civic Education. Each month we bring you videos, articles, and current events designed to build cultural awareness, media literacy, and a deeper understanding of significant historical figures and events.

Resources for July

  • Videos, articles, lessons, and more from our partners at HISTORY and the Center for Civic Education
  • Independence Day
  • Google Field Trips
  • News articles for elementary and secondary classrooms

Use the tabs on the left to explore this month's resources.

Classroom Resources from HMH

Independence Day
July 4

Independence Day, or the Fourth of July, is celebrated every year in the United States to remember the passage of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress in 1776. The Congress voted to declare independence from Great Britain on July 2, 1776. Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence (with some help from John Adams and others). He finished the declaration, and it was adopted on the 4th.

In the nation's early days, Independence Day was more political than it is today. It was celebrated with speeches, toasts, and ceremonies that were used to discuss political issues and to connect political campaigns to the nation’s independence.

Today, Independence Day is celebrated with fireworks, parades, and picnics. It is a big summer celebration for many people in the United States. And while it is no longer as political as it once was, the Fourth of July remains a day of patriotism and national pride.

Related Links

Free Classroom Resources from HISTORY


Independence Day

The Fourth of July—also known as Independence Day or July 4th—has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution. On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades, and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.

Related Links on HISTORY.com

HMH Field Trips Powered by Google Expeditions

Add a Whole New Dimension to Social Studies!

American Revolution

Discover the American Revolution. Bring experiential learning into your social studies lessons without ever leaving the classroom. Download the Teacher's Guide to learn more!

Center for Civic Education

Students Take Action from the Center for Civic Education

The Students Take Action service-learning feature relates stories of students who have participated in the Center for Civic Education’s Project Citizen program, which encourages students to take part in state or local government and learn how to monitor and influence public policy. Help your students become active and engaged citizens in their own communities with these resources.

Center for Civic Education

HMH In the News and Current Events

Hmhinthenews.com is a great resource for elementary classrooms with fun articles about what's going on in the news. This website delivers age-appropriate current events stories about people, communities, the United States, and the world every month. Come back often for new stories, spotlight features, and polls.

Hmhcurrentevents.com enriches your secondary classroom with subject-specific information from world history, world geography, American history, economics, psychology, sociology, civics, government, and African American history. It also spotlights today's headlines with activities, web links, and HMH Election Connection.

HISTORY® and the “H” logo are trademarks of A&E Television Networks LLC. All rights reserved. Google and Google Cardboard are registered trademarks of Google LLC. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt®, The Learning Company, and HMH® are trademarks or registered trademarks of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. © Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. WF370746
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