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  • Facts About The Declaration

    I’m a bit of a history buff. And, of course, on July 4, Americans
    celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The
    Declaration was officially adopted by the Continental Congress in
    Philadelphia on July 4, 1776, although Congress formally declared
    independence from Great Britain on July 2, and the Declaration
    wasn’t signed by all 56 members until August.

     
    I’ve gathered some other facts about this founding document of the
    United States that you may not know:

     
    • There’s a message on the back. No, it’s not an invisible treasure
    map (as in National Treasure). The words “Original Declaration of
    Independence, dated 4th July 1776” appear on the reverse side of
    the document on display in the National Rotunda, at the bottom and
    upside down.


    • About 200 copies of the Declaration were immediately
    produced by printer John Dunlap for distribution through the 13
    colonies. Of these original “Dunlap broadsides,” 26 still exist.


    • The original document wasn’t printed on paper, but
    “engrossed” on parchment. Engrossing is a process for preparing an
    official document in large, clear handwriting.


    • At the bottom left corner of the Declaration is an unidentified
    handprint. Historians speculate that it’s the result of the
    document’s being rolled up for transport and handled by various
    people for extensive exhibition in the early years of its existence.


    • The two youngest signers of the Declaration were Thomas Lynch
    Jr. and Edward Rutledge, both of South Carolina, both 26 years old
    at the time. The oldest signer was Benjamin Franklin, 70. Nine of
    the original signers died before the American Revolution
    ended in 1783.


    Dennis Bridges | 06/22/2015