By Dave Bartkowiak Jr.(ClickonDetroit.com)
Photo credit: Public domain
The Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, two days after the Americans declared independence from Great Britain.
Originally there were 24 copies of the documents made. It was signed by 56 delegates including Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Harrison.
It may be surprising to learn that some famous "Founding Fathers" did not sign the declaration. George Washington, for instance, was at war in New York City when the declaration was brought forth in Philadelphia. Washington did read the declaration to his army on July 9, 1776.
Copies of the declaration were not sent out to each state until Jan. 18, 1777.
Here is the full document text followed be the names of those who signed it:
IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776 ...The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
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