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Sunday, 28 September 2014

The Declaration of Independence

Although the Declaration of Independence was dated July 4th, the true US Independence Day was on July 2nd when the Continental Congress approved the legal separation of the 13 colonies from Great Britain  and didn’t sign it until August 2, 1776.

On July 8, 1776,  the Liberty Bell pealed from the tower of Independence Hall summoning the citizens of Philadelphia to hear the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence.


The Virginia Gazette was the first American newspaper to publish the complete full text of the United States Declaration of Independence. It was printed on July 26, 1776.

Thomas Jefferson, regarded as the strongest and most eloquent writer, wrote most of the document.

The Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper.



A parchment paper copy of the Declaration was signed by 56 persons on August 2, 1776; two future U.S. presidents, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, were among the signatories.

John Hancock, president of the Second Continental Congress, was the first signer, and his signature is the largest —  it is almost 5 inches long. It is said that he said he signed his name large so King George III could read his signature without his glasses. The term John Hancock is still used today as a synonym for signature.

Benjamin Franklin, who represented Pennsylvania, was 70 when he signed the document. He was the oldest of the signers. Edward Rutledge, 26, of South Carolina, was the youngest.

The only brothers to sign the Declaration of Independence were Francis Lightfoot Lee and Richard Henry Lee.

John Trumbull's famous painting is often identified as a depiction of the signing of the Declaration, but it actually shows the drafting committee presenting its work to the Congress

The Declaration of Independence refers to Native Americans as "the merciless Indian Savages".

The British Parliament still has a copy of the original American Declaration of Independence in its archives.

The house where Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence was replaced with a hamburger stand.

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