Is July 4th really our "Independence Day"? The actual vote took place, and the Declaration was adopted, on July 2nd with a vote of 12 yeas and one abstention.(New York) For the next 2 days, Congress polished the language of the Declaration, the document was officially adopted on that day...but only 2 men signed it on that day, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Shortly after that, a local printer printed about 200 copies and had them distributed throughout the 13 colonies. When the colonists saw July 4th on the printed copies, they mistook the day of adoption as the date of the vote. In fact, it wasn't until August 2nd that the majority of the signers affixed their signatures to the "unanimous" Declaration, the one on display in the National Archives. Finally, the group of men who signed the Declaration on August 2nd were not the same men who voted on July 2nd to adopt it. The final delegate signature was not obtained until 1781.