What’s On the Back of the Declaration of Independence and Other U.S. Independence Day Facts

July 4, is neither the anniversary of declaring independence nor the signing of the Declaration. Independence was formally declared on July 2, which John Adams believed would be “the most memorable” date in America and I strongly support perhaps because it is also my father’s birthday. The Declaration of Independence was first read in public on July 8 and was mostly signed on August 2, 1776.


It is the text of the Declaration of Independence that was formally approved on July 4, 1776. Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the fiftieth anniversary, July 4, 1826.


The Committee of Five tasked with drafting the Declaration was comprised of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman of Connecticut and Robert Livingston of New York. Livingston believed that it was premature to declare independence and never signed the Declaration.


And what’s on the back of the Declaration of Independence? In an unknown hand is written, Original Declaration of Independence/dated 4th July 1776


The Declaration of Independence, albeit bold and brilliant, just teed up this extraordinary country. First, a completely unprepared volunteer militia and navy, despite heart wrenching deprivations, had to defeat the most powerful military power in the world.  And then, as George Washington wrote Lafayette, “It appears to me, then, little short of a miracle, that the delegates from so many different states (which states you know are also different from each other in their manners, circumstances, and prejudices) should unite in forming a system of national Government.” Ours, the first written constitution, has served us very well and been the model for many others.


I hope you have the opportunity to spend time with those whom are important to you this holiday, and savor the wonder of the Declaration of Independence.