When reenacting or acting as a historical interpreter, its good to have a few historical dates and stories to share. This series will publish a few.
August 2, 1776 – Fifty-five members of the second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia to formally sign the Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin is oft quoted as having said on this momentous occasion: “We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”
The Declaration of Independence was approved by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, but it was not signed until almost a month later. The Congress did not have the approval of all 13 colonies until July 9, 1776. On July 19, Congress ordered that an official copy of the document be created. The order called for handwritten ornamental script to be used on parchment paper with the title “The unanimous declaration of the thirteen United States of America.” Written in tight calligraphy with no provision for erasure or correction, this was a painstaking process and took some time to finish. The formal signing ceremony finally took place on August 2, 1776.
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