Press/Journalists

Press Release
Press Release · Friday, June 18, 2004

Press Release
June 18, 2004

 

DID YOU KNOW…. INDEPENDENCE DAY SHOULD ACTUALLY BE JULY 2?
AND OTHER LITTLE KNOWN FACTS ABOUT THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

Washington, DC – June 24, 2004 – America’s revolutionary Charter of Freedom, the Declaration of Independence is a document upon which our nation’s founding principles were established. In celebration of Independence Day 2004, the National Archives and Records Administration is hosting "Democracy Starts Here – the National Archives 4th of July Celebration" on the steps of the National Archives on Constitution Avenue in Washington, DC. This special family-friendly day will feature a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence by General George Washington and a special musical performance by the US Army 3rd Infantry "Old Guard" Fife and Drum Corps. History lovers young and old can view the newly-restored Declaration of Independence, and speak with actors playing those who signed this important document! The original Declaration of Independence, which is held in trust for the American people by the National Archives, returned to public display in the Rotunda of the National Archives on September 18, 2003.

The Declaration of Independence set the course for our nation on a journey of freedom, which also led this historic document on its own journey. For example, did you know….:

  • Who Authored the Declaration of Independence?> Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft of the Declaration of Independence, which was then edited by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin. Jefferson took their edits and incorporated them into what would become the version finally adopted.

  • Independence Day Should Have Been July 2 July 2, 1776 is the day that the Continental Congress actually voted for independence. John Adams, in his writings, even noted that July 2 would be remembered in the annals of American history and would be marked with fireworks and celebrations. The written Declaration of Independence was dated July 4 but wasn’t actually