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July 4, 1776 - The Declaration of Independence is adopted by the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia. It proclaims freedom forever from British rule for all 13 colonies, including North Carolina. But the colonists' struggles are just beginning. Freedom will come at a terrible price as bloody battles will be fought throughout the new United States of America. North Carolina will pay, too, with the lives of its citizens. It will be more than five long years before the fighting ceases.