A Letter From The Publisher, Dec. 16, 1974

The enemy is off Manhattan. The largest expeditionary force in British history seizes Staten Island and prepares to invade the mainland to crush General George Washington's ragtag Continentals —and with them the Revolution. Near Wall Street, frenzied New Yorkers tear down George III's statue. Delaware Congressional Delegate Rodney Caesar rides 80 miles through thunderstorms to Philadelphia to help make the colonies' Declaration of Independence unanimous.

These were the top stories in the first days of July 1776. They will also be top stories in a very unusual issue of TIME. The news of that momentous week made history; next spring TIME will...

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