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Ratification Day on January 14th annually recognizes the act the officially ended the American Revolution. The day commemorates the ratification of the Treaty of Paris on January 14, 1784, at the Maryland State House in Annapolis, Maryland by the Confederation Congress.

Since the Declaration of Independence was signed, nearly eight years had passed. Through the treaty, Great Britain recognizes the United States as a sovereign entity. It is the most enduring premise of the treaty. The treaty also defined boundaries, specifically the Northwest Territory which included Ohio and rich prairie land of Indiana and Illinois. Michigan, Wisconsin, and parts of Minnesota were also included. Several of the nation’s founding fathers negotiated the peace treaty, including John Adams, John Jay, and Benjamin Franklin. 

  • The Confederation Congress issued a proclamation on April 11, 1783, “Declaring the cessation of arms” against Great Britain.
  • Congress approved the preliminary articles of peace on April 15, 1783.
  • The Confederation Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris on January 14, 1784.

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Ratification Day recognizes the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Paris. In Annapolis Maryland at the State House, a ceremony takes place where officials signed the treaty. The Old Senate Chamber has been renovated and preserved just as it was at the signing. Every January 14, a flag in the design that was displayed at the time of the signing of the Treaty of Paris flies over the State House; twelve stars forming a circle with one star in the center. 

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January 14th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History


Continental Congress ratifies the Treaty of Paris ending the American Revolution.


NBC broadcasts the first episode of Today hosted by anchor Dave Garroway. The morning national news show was the first of its kind.


The King of Rock ‘n Roll performs the first live concert transmitted by satellite around the world. Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii was performed live on location. Estimates vary how many people watched the concert, and it was revolutionary and Elvis Presley’s concert was the most watched broadcast by an individual entertainer in tv history at that time.

January 14th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays

Benedict Arnold – 1741

The Continental soldier more than once demonstrated his skill and loyalty to the United States cause entered into an agreement with the British in 1779 that branded him a traitor for life.

Matthew Maury – 1806

The American naval officer was one of the founders of oceanography and published the first modern text dedicated to its study, The Physical Geography of the Sea.

Richard Felton Outcault – 1863

One of America’s pioneering cartoonists, Oucault developed one of the first popular characters known as The Yellow Kid. His cartoons led to the modern-day comic strip.

Julian Bond – 1940

The civil rights leader was elected twice to the Georgia state legislature and both times, the legislature refused Bond his seat. It wasn’t until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the exclusion was unconstitutional in December of 1966 that Bond was sworn in a month later.

Shannon Lucid – 1943

The American astronaut spent 188 days in space aboard the space station Mir. At the time, it was a record spaceflight for any U.S. astronaut.

LL Cool J – 1968

Born James Todd Smith, the Grammy-winning American rapper also pursued a successful acting career. He’s known for his roles on In the House and NCIS: Los Angeles.