Declaration of Independence Facts

Declaration of Independence Facts
On July 4th, 1776 the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, which announced that the 13 colonies were independent sovereign states and not a part of the British Empire any longer. Instead, these 13 states were a new nation called the United States of America. The Declaration of Independence was adopted more than a year after the Revolutionary War had begun. The war started because the British Empire tried to impose taxes on the colonies to pay off their debts and because of disagreement as to the British Parliament's authority in the colonies. The Declaration of Independence formally declared the independence of the United States of America. This historical document now sits at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
Interesting Declaration of Independence Facts:
Many people believe that there is a secret message written on the back of the Declaration of Independence. The words are in reality only 'Original Declaration of Independence / dated 4th July 1776'. The movie National Treasure continued this myth when it's main character claimed there was a secret map on the reverse side.
Thomas Jefferson is considered by many to be the author of this important document but he was a member of five-person committee consisting of Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston, John Adams and himself.
Robert Livingston did not sign the Declaration of Independence even though he contributed to its creation. He didn't agree with the timing of declaring independence.
The Declaration of Independence was actually signed on August 2nd. Independence was declared on the 2nd of July but it wasn't until July 4th that Continental Congress approved the final text.
The Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 men representing 13 colonies.
8 of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence were from Britain.
Benjamin Franklin was the oldest to sign the Declaration of Independence, at the age of 70.
Edward Rutledge was the youngest to sign the Declaration of Independence at 26 years old.
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were both signers of the Declaration of Independence and both later became United States Presidents. Not only were they the only two signers of the document to later become president, they also both died on July 4th, 1826 = the 50th anniversary of United States' independence.
During World War II the Declaration of Independence was kept locked up safely at Fort Knox.
There were six people who signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. These people were George Read, Robert Morris, George Clymer, James Wilson and Roger Sherman.
All those who signed the Declaration of Independence lived to see the end of the American Revolution.
The Declaration of Independence housed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. is not the draft approved on July 4th by Continental Congress. This copy was formally made after the approval of the final text. The rough draft is housed at the Library of Congress.
The official signing ceremony took place on August 2nd, 1776. Those who were not present or did not sign on that date but signed later include Matthew Thornton, Thomas McKean, Lewis Morris, Oliver Wolcott, and Elbridge Gerry.


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