9 Things You May Not Know
About the Declaration of Independence
1. The Declaration of Independence wasn’t signed on July 4, 1776.
Most of the delegates signed on August 2, but several signed on a later date.
2. More than one copy of the Declaration of Independence exists.
Hundreds of copies were dispatched across the 13 colonies to newspapers, local officials and the commanders of the Continental troops.
3. When news of the Declaration of Independence reached New York City, it started a riot.
After George Washington read the document aloud in front of City Hall, a raucous crowd cheered, and later that day tore down a nearby statue of George III.
4. Eight of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were born in the U.K.
2 were born in England, 1 was born in Wales, 2 were born in Scotland, 2 were born in Ireland, and 1 hailed from Northern Ireland.
5. One signer of the Declaration of Independence later recanted.
Richard Stockton, a lawyer from Princeton, New Jersey, became the only signer of the Declaration of Independence to recant his support of the revolution.
6. There was a 44-year age difference between the youngest and oldest signers.
The oldest signer was Benjamin Franklin (70 years old). The youngest was Edward Rutledge, a lawyer from South Carolina (26 years old).
7. Two additional copies of the Declaration of Independence have been found in the last 25 years.
1 was hidden in the back of a picture frame bought at a flea market for $4 (sold for $8.1 million) and the other was hidden in a box of papers captured from American colonists during the Revolutionary War.
8. The Declaration of Independence spent World War II in Fort Knox.
Shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the signed Declaration, together with the Constitution, was removed from public display and escorted to Fort Knox for safety.
9. There is something written on the back of the Declaration of Independence.
Not a treasure map, but the message "Original Declaration of Independence dated 4th July 1776” is written upside-down across the bottom of the signed document.
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