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More than you ever wanted to know about the Declaration of Independence

In Honor of this Special Day

On June 7, 1776, Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a resolution in the Continental Congress declaring independence from England. Congress set it aside temporarily and appointed a Committee of Five to draft a document that would explain why they sought the separation. Committee members were Thomas Jefferson (VA), John Adams (MA), Benjamin Franklin (PA), Robert Livingston (NY) and Roger Sherman (CT). Jefferson drafted the document, and the Committee made minor changes.

Congress voted for independence on July 2 (NOT July 4), then took up the Committee’s “rough draft.” They debated and amended the draft and adopted what we know today as the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

Three resources on the Declaration:

Twenty-two single-paragraph illustrated descriptions of important documents, places, people, events & items surrounding July, 4, 1776:

Thomas Jefferson’s “original Rough Draft” of the Declaration of Independence, before it was amended by Congress:

Jefferson and The Committee of Five’s original Declaration of Independence with additions and deletions made by the Congress before its adoption July 4, 1776:

John Adam’s wrote to his wife on July 3:

“The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha,
in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated,
by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival.
It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance
by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty.
It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade,
with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations
from one End of this Continent to the other
from this Time forward forever more.”

 

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