Cookouts, fireworks, and good company often come to mind when one thinks about Independence Day. From a young age, every American has heard the stories of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the trials it took to become a sovereign state. However, we tend to overlook the German-Americans who had a large influence on the freedom the United States enjoys today. On July 5, 1776, the German-American newspaper, Der Wöchentliche Pennsylvanischer Staatsbote, was the first paper — in any language — to announce the signing of the Declaration of Independence the day before. The newspaper also published a German translation of the Declaration of Independence on July 9, 1776.