The Continental Congress adopts a resolution to sever ties with the Kingdom of Great Britain on July 2, 1776. The next year on this date the independent Vermont Republic abolishes slavery, fourteen years before joining the union, thereby gaining the honor of being the first U.S. territory to make slavery against the law.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau died on this date in 1778. July 2 marks the death dates of a number of major American authors:
- Ernest Hemingway, 1961
- Vladimir Nabokov, 1977
- Mario Puzo, 1999