Slurp watermelon. Plunge in the pool. Ooh and ahh over fireworks. But first take a moment to read the most cherished words in American history.
Don’t you love it when the Fourth of July falls on a Friday! Three-day weekends can’t be beat. It’s a great time to take a break from hectic work schedules and rigorous online studies, and have fun with family and friends.
How do you celebrate? Do you host a family cook-out or head to the local park?
Before you start boiling the potatoes for salad or reach for the beach towels, you might consider taking a few moments to reread the most beloved words in our country’s history: the Declaration of Independence.
Reflecting on the significance of the most powerful document in the world should give you more goose bumps than the grandest fireworks display.
Inspired and reminded of the reasons why we have so much to celebrate, enjoy your Fourth of July festivities!
Interesting facts about the Declaration of Independence*
- The Second Continental Congress declared independence from Great Britain on July 2, 1776.
- July 2 is the day that John Adams believed would be celebrated with parades and fireworks as "the most memorable epocha in the history of America."
- The members of the Committee of Five appointed by Congress to draft the Declaration were: John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Livingston and Roger Sherman. Jefferson wrote it, but they all contributed ideas.
- Robert Livingston never signed the Declaration. He believed it was too soon to declare independence.
- Congress made 86 changes to the original draft and cut the length by a fourth.
- Congress approved the final text of the Declaration on July 4, 1776.
- Printer John Dunlap printed 200 copies of the Declaration for distribution throughout the colonies.
- There are only 26 original copies of the Declaration known to be in existence today. The most famous version is in the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
- One original copy sold for over $8 million in 2000.
- The Declaration was signed on Aug. 2, 1776.
- Two signers of the Declaration, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, both died on July 4, 1826.
Happy Independence Day from Saint Leo!
Why do you think the Declaration of Independence still matters?
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