July 4, 2019
We are celebrating the 4th of July today and for residents here at Stillwaters Estates this means gathering together for a barbeque. Each year we look forward to sharing a meal and having a patriotic program in honor of Independence Day.
This year I have been reading about people’s traditions on the fourth (besides the hot dogs, hamburgers and fireworks) and did some perusing of people’s recitations and favorite 4th of July reading.
Here’s some fun facts about the Declaration of Independence:
1. The Declaration of Independence wasn’t signed on July 4, 1776.
On July 1, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, and on the following day 12 of the 13 colonies voted in favor of Richard Henry Lee’s motion for independence. On July 4th Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence, and as a result the date is celebrated as Independence Day. Most of the delegates signed on August 2, but several—Elbridge Gerry, Oliver Wolcott, Lewis Morris, Thomas McKean and Matthew Thornton—signed on a later date.
2. More than one copy exists.
After the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, the “Committee of Five”—Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston—was charged with overseeing the reproduction of the approved text. This was completed at the shop of Philadelphia printer John Dunlap. On July 5, Dunlap’s copies were dispatched across the 13 colonies to newspapers, local officials and the commanders of the Continental troops. These rare documents, known as “Dunlap broadsides,” predate the engrossed version signed by the delegates.
3. The Declaration of Independence spent World War II 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 armed 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 cavalry troop of the 13th Armored Division escorted it to Fort Knox. The Declaration was returned to Washington, D.C., in 1944.
To see all nine “Facts you may not know” about the Declaration of Independence, go to HISTORY.
Enjoy your 4th of July celebration and take a few minutes to read the Declaration of Independence found HERE.