Did You Know...

The Secret Journal of Congress reveals that contrary to popular belief, the Declaration of Independence was actually signed on August 2nd, 1776. 

There’s some good evidence to support this, and historians suggest that Jefferson, Franklin and Adams simply misremembered what actually took place at the historic July 4 meeting, when the Declaration was announced.  This is not the only event from this period of history that has been shown to differ from their account of events. It was a pretty busy summer, after all.

As for other interesting facts relating to this historic event, it’s well known that Thomas Jefferson was chosen to write the Declaration of Independence over the much more qualified and more skilled writer Ben Franklin. The reasons why Jefferson was approached and eventually persuaded to write it are talked about a lot less. 

The reason behind this, according to Ormand Seavey, editor of Oxford’s edition of Ben Franklin’s autobiography, was that Franklin was known to put very subtle jokes and satire in just about everything he wrote. Quite often, nobody but Franklin was smart enough to comprehend it until much later. 

Knowing this document would likely be examined closely by the nations of the world at that time, they chose to avoid the issue by having the much less gifted writer, Jefferson, write it instead, with Franklin and three others to help Jefferson draft it.