What actually took place on July 4, 1776?

Learn more about what happened on July 4, 1776 with this interactive broadside of the Declaration of Independence. Video and podcast, too.

What happened on July 4, 1776? Not what you might think.

On that historic day more than 200 years ago, the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. But it would be weeks before the Founding Fathers actually signed the handwritten document that now rests in the National Archives in Washington.

In the meantime, official broadsides—the public service announcements of the day—were printed and posted on the doors of courthouses across the colonies.

One of the few surviving broadsides of the Declaration of Independence is now on view in the John M. Olin Library at Washington University in St. Louis.

This episode of the podcast “Hold That Thought” explores the broadside’s history:

Printed by Solomon Southwick for the people of Rhode Island, the declaration proclaims: “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.”

“To read this broadside would have been a momentous occasion,” says David Konig, professor of history in Arts & Sciences and of law in the School of Law at Washington University in St. Louis. “You can imagine the people of the time gathering to read and debate the declaration. Broadsides were the way the government communicated with the people.”

Source: Washington University in St. Louis

The post What actually took place on July 4, 1776? appeared first on Futurity.

More from Futurity

Futurity2 min readPsychology
Young Teen Phone Use Doesn’t Damage Mental Health
The time adolescents spend on their phones isn’t that bad for their mental health, according to a new study. The study tracked young adolescents on their smartphones to test whether more time using digital technology was linked to worse mental health
Futurity4 min readScience
Being An Omnivore Is Actually Quite Odd
The first animal likely was a carnivore, new research finds. Humans, along with other omnivores, belong to a rare breed. What an animal eats is a fundamental aspect of its biology, but surprisingly, the evolution of diet had not been studied across t
Futurity2 min readPsychology
How Investors Can Avoid The ‘Infatuation Effect’
New research explains why we put money into a specific investment just because it’s the most familiar or stands out. It also points to a solution for making better investing choices. “Everyday investors can often become overly attached to a particula