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Harvard and the American Revolution

In Focus

1776 at Harvard

At 140 years old at the time of the American Revolution, Harvard—and members of the Harvard community—played an important role in the country’s early history.

A Prospect of the Colledges in Cambridge in New England, William Burgis, 1726. Courtesy of the Harvard Fine Arts Library, Digital Images and Slides Collection

During the American Revolution, students were dismissed early and the Harvard campus was turned over to the Continental Army.

Learn more about Harvard during the Revolution

An original copy

Harvard’s Houghton Library contains one of only a few surviving Dunlap broadside copies of the original Declaration of Independence.

Did you know that eight Harvard alumni signed the Declaration of Independence?

A place in history

A part of the future

Six teenagers on stage with a large sign that reads "Pursuit of Happiness" behind them

At the American Repertory Theater, high school students performed “Proclamation 7: Freedom Acts,” a play written by and starring them, with inspiration from the Declaration of Independence.

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Imagining an alternative America from a Native perspective

An abstract illustration of state buildings
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Celebrating freedom from Juneteenth to the 4th of July

Opal Lee in beautiful clothes
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Faith, social justice, and "certain unalienable rights"

Cornell William Brooks talking at a podium
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Renewing rights and responsibilities in the U.S.

A woman holds a small child while other refugees sit on the ground behind them
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