• Paul L. Fattori


Updated: Aug 3, 2021

1: DATE ... "In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776" may be written across the top of The Declaration of Independence and we as a nation celebrate that date as the birth of our nation. However, the engrossed parchment document, housed at the National Archives, was actually signed by the majority of delegates on August 2, 1776.

The famous painting (below) by John Trumbull is not of the signing of the document, but rather the presentation by the committee of five of their draft of the Declaration to the 2nd Continental Congress on the 28th of June, 1777.

2: SIGNERS ... Only 49 delegates signed the Declaration on August 2, 1776. The other 7 signed as they returned to Philadelphia. The last to sign Thomas McKean didn't sign until sometime after January of 1777, as his name is not listed on the Goddard broadside printing of the Declaration.

3: MOOD ... The mood was somber on August 2nd. This is conveyed in a letter to John Adams from Benjamin Rush in 1811 when he asked Adams, "Do you recollect the pensive and awful silence which pervaded the house when we were called up, one after another, to the table of the President of Congress, to subscribe what was believed by many at that time to be our own death warrants?"

Learn more about the document that shook the world over 240 years ago, at the 1776:Celebrate the Declaration event, hosted by Dixie & Grace on April 12, 2019 at The Breakers Palm Beach. For further information, sponsorship opportunities and to register for the event, visit ... www.doievent.com

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