A Deep, Rich History of American Spirit

Rich in History above the NBCC logo complements New Brunswick’s essential role in our nation’s independence and development.

Celebrate Fireworks in New Brunswick Fourth of July

The Birthplace of Independence Day

Before becoming the father of our country, George Washington walked the streets of New Brunswick and performed one of the country's most historical events. He proclaimed the government's first official celebration of Independence Day on July 4, 1778.

The first observance of our nation's birthday took place on the east bank of the Raritan River in New Brunswick. Washington directed 8,000 army men to put green boughs in their hats and ordered a Fourth of July artillery salute. They were encamped in the area after the army's achievement over the British at the Monmouth Court House (now Freehold).

1776 Reading of the Declaration of Independence on Albany Street

One of the nation's first public readings of The Declaration of Independence took place in New Brunswick on July 9, 1776. In the days following its announcement by the Continental Congress in nearby Philadelphia, the Declaration was brought to New Brunswick by an express rider on horseback, on his way to New York. The County and Town Committees were immediately convened, and it was decided that the Declaration be read in the public street (Albany Street), in front of the White Hall tavern. A stage was improvised and Col. John Neilson read the Declaration with grave deliberation and emphasis.