This Day in History
Signing of the Declaration of Independence

Declaration of Independence Adopted
July 4, 1776

The Founding Fathers brought forth a new nation; Thomas Jefferson was their spokesman. This might have been surprising in another young man of thirty-three, but then everything was surprising about Mr. Jefferson - his learning, his wisdom, his versatility and - as John Adams put it - his “peculiar felicity of expression.” Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence standing up at his desk in the second floor parlor of a German bricklayer named Graff; he “turned neither to book nor pamphlet” and completed it in two weeks. After two hundred years it remains the root document of American democracy. For not only out of “decent respect to the opinions of mankind” did it declare the causes for separation from Great Britain, but it set forth, with incomparable succinctness, the philosophy which animated this new experiment in history. The most memorable - and still most vital - statement of that philosophy is that “self-evident” truth that “all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” In a way that marvelous phrase covers the whole of life, the whole of society and government. Jefferson left it to future generations to spell out its particular meaning. “Each age,” Robert Frost said, “will have to reconsider it,” just as each age has to reconsider the meaning of all those famous terms in the rest of the Preamble. This painting commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

August's Archived Features:

Saturday August 1, 2020
Sunday August 2, 2020
Monday August 3, 2020
Tuesday August 4, 2020
Wednesday August 5, 2020
Thursday August 6, 2020
Friday August 7, 2020
Saturday August 8, 2020
Sunday August 9, 2020
Monday August 10, 2020
Tuesday August 11, 2020
Wednesday August 12, 2020
Thursday August 13, 2020
Friday August 14, 2020



All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, Edward Lengel, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2019. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.