Nowadays, the Fourth of July is all about fireworks and picnics, but originally this holiday revolved around one very important document: the Declaration of Independence. Writers and readers across the country should really take note of this historical text. The ideas and wording were revolutionary in their own right, such as the outright proclamation upholding the pursuit of happiness. The Declaration of Independence is a landmark text in the history of human rights. So in honor of this writing and the holiday in general, I thought I’d share a few facts about it.
(1) It was John Adams who convinced the draft committee to have Thomas Jefferson write the original Declaration.
(2) The first published copies of the Declaration were printed as Dunlap broadsides and did not include John Hancock’s signature.
(3) Just like writers across time, Jefferson had to do some editing and went through more than one draft before the final version.
(4) The copy of the Declaration of Independence that was signed by Congress was probably handwritten by clerk Timothy Matlack. So all you clerks and office workers out there pay attention. You might play an important part in history.
Happy Independence Day!