Happy 4th of July, friends!
Here are 4 things you may not know about the U.S. Declaration of Independence…
Did you know that…
- The Declaration of Independence wasn’t actually signed on the 4th of July in 1776?
Three days earlier, on July 1st, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, and on the next day 12 of the 13 colonies voted in favor of the motion for independence. But the delegates spent the next two days debating and revising the language of the statement originally drafted by Thomas Jefferson. On July 4th, Congress officially adopted this newly-authored Declaration of Independence. Yet nearly a month would pass before the actual signing of the document would take place. The Presentation of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
- There was a 44-year age difference between the youngest and oldest signers?
The oldest—Benjamin Franklin, age 70. The youngest—Edward Rutledge, age 26. The Signatures on the Declaration of Independence
- Two additional copies of the Declaration of Independence have been found in the last 25 years?
In 1989, a Philadelphia man found an original “Dunlap Broadside” (broadsides are poster-sized sheets) which is one of many official reproductions of the declaration. On the night of July 4, 1776, it is is thought that hundreds of copies were printed at the shop of a Philadelphia printer named John Dunlap. Hence these copies became known as Dunlop’s copies. However, of these hundreds of copies only 26 copies survived. Of those 26, this Philadelphia man found one in the back of a picture frame he bought at a flea market for $4. The Dunlap Broadside was in excellent condition and sold for $8.1 million in 2000.
The Syng Inkstand was used in the signing of the Declaration of Independence
- The Declaration of Independence spent WWII in Fort Knox?
On December 23, 1941, just over two weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the signed Declaration, together with the Constitution, was removed from public display and prepared for evacuation out of Washington, D.C. Under the supervision of guards, the founding document was packed in a specially designed container, latched with padlocks, sealed with lead and placed in a larger box. All told, 150 pounds of protective gear surrounded the parchment. On December 26 and 27, accompanied by Secret Service agents, it traveled by train to Louisville, Kentucky, where a calvary troop of the 13th Armored Division escorted it to Fort Knox. The Declaration was returned to Washington D.C. in 1944.
For five additional “little known facts” about the Declaration of Independence, visit this site where the above information and images were gleaned (full credit given to History.com). Don’t you just love history—and that site!
If you haven’t read the Declaration of Independence lately—or heard it read aloud—treat yourself and listen to the words that spawned a revolution not only here in the United States but in France a number of years later, and in countless other uprisings grounded in the heart of change and betterment for mankind.
Blessings, friends, and a special thank you to all who have served our country in the military, both past and present, paying dearly for our freedom which we so often take for granted. May you all have a wonderful—and meaningful—time with family and friends today!