St. Louis, MO (PRWEB) July 16, 2008
A rare, original copy of the Declaration of Independence will be on public display on Friday, July 25, and Saturday, July 26, in St. Louis. The Declaration is one of only 25 surviving Dunlap broadside copies of the famous document that were printed on the evening of July 4, 1776. Cricket Communications Inc, a leading provider of unlimited wireless services, and Declare Yourself, a nonpartisan youth voter initiative, have partnered to bring the "People's Document" to cities across the country. Admission is free on both days.
Cricket is also encouraging local youth to get involved and express their opinions through an essay contest on "The Unlimited Impact of Voting." Students ages 18 to 24 may enter an original essay of up to 500 words at any of Cricket's nine retail stores (listed at http://www.mycricketstl.com) for a chance to win a $500 scholarship. The winner will be invited to read their essay at the opening ceremonies on July 26 with Congressman William Lacy Clay.
The Cricket Wireless Declaration Road Trip 2008 provides visitors the opportunity to interact with an entertaining and educational multimedia exhibit. In addition to the Declaration, visitors can view an informative Declare Yourself video hosted by actress Reese Witherspoon, a descendant of one of the original signers of the document, explaining the history and contemporary relevance of the Declaration. A 14-minute film produced by Norman Lear and Rob Reiner will also be shown and features a powerful theatrical reading of the Declaration of Independence by a distinguished group of actors, including Mel Gibson, Morgan Freeman, Whoopi Goldberg, Kevin Spacey, Michael Douglas, and Renee Zellweger, among others.
Schedule of Events
Friday, July 25, at Missouri History Museum (Lindell and DeBaliviere in Forest Park)
▪ Public viewing and voter registration 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Saturday, July 26, at St. Louis Public Library (1301 Olive St.)
▪ Opening ceremonies and remarks by Congressman William Lacy Clay 10 a.m.
▪ Public viewing and voter registration 10:30 a.m. - 7 p.m.
"We are thrilled to partner with Declare Yourself to bring such an amazing national treasure to St. Louis," said Daniel Fowler, area general manager for Cricket. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see American history up close. Nearly half of Cricket's customers are between the ages of 18 and 34, which means that many will be first-time voters in this election. We felt this was an important initiative to embrace and help our city's youth understand the importance of independence, freedom and the right to vote."
Other activities will include onsite voter registration and three cyberstations powered by Cricket Wireless Internet Service, giving visitors the chance to register to vote and research topics that are relevant to young voters, such as lowering the voting age, the environment and volunteer service requirements for graduation.
This copy of the Declaration of Independence first toured the nation in 2002 after Hollywood producer Norman Lear purchased this original copy of the Dunlap broadside in a Sotheby's online auction (the document was discovered in 1989 hidden behind a framed painting purchased at a flea market). Lear decided to bring the "People's Document" directly to Americans through the Declaration of Independence Road Trip, which traveled cross-country for three years to more than 50 cities. With a new sponsorship from Cricket Communications, the Cricket Wireless Declaration Road Trip is making a comeback, with planned stops in 14 cities throughout 2008, including Beaumont, Corpus Christi, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Memphis, Nashville, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Diego, Savannah and St. Louis.
"Each time we bring this revered document to a city, the interest is overwhelming," said Marc Morgenstern, executive director of Declare Yourself. "There's no better way to tell the story of the birth of America than by letting people get up close and personal with the Declaration of Independence. It's a true reminder of the freedoms we all cherish and the importance of participating in this election year."
In September 2007, Declare Yourself announced Cricket as its presenting sponsor of the 2007-2008 voter registration campaign. Cricket's sponsorship underscores Declare Yourself's commitment to using cutting-edge technology to create awareness and participation among today's youth in the voting process. Cricket is collaborating with Declare Yourself to create unique mobile and online content, and wireless applications for young people to engage in the democratic process via their handheld devices.
For more information about the Cricket Wireless Declaration Road Trip 2008, visit http://www.mycricketstl.com. For more information on the Declare Yourself 2008 voter initiative, visit http://www.declareyourself.com.
Cricket is a simple, affordable wireless service offering consumers and local businesses a flat-rate unlimited service over the latest technology, high-quality, all-digital CDMA2000 1X and 1xEV-DO wireless network. Designed for customers whose basic and advanced wireless needs have not been met by traditional communications companies, Cricket is the pioneer of unlimited services with no long-term commitments or credit checks required. Cricket offers customers access to a variety of the latest devices and feature-rich mobile applications such as unlimited text, instant and picture messaging, Mobile Web, popular games, ringtones and wallpapers. For more information on Cricket, visit http://www.mycricket.com. Cricket services are offered by Leap Wireless International, Inc., headquartered in San Diego, Calif. For more information on Leap, visit http://www.leapwireless.com.
About Declare Yourself
Declare Yourself is a national nonpartisan, nonprofit campaign that energizes and empowers every eligible 18- to 29-year-old in America to register and vote in the 2008 presidential election. Partnering with leaders in education, the entertainment industry, popular online destinations and media outlets, the fashion industry and retailers, Declare Yourself registered more than 1.2 million people in the 2004 and 2006 elections at http://www.DeclareYourself.com. The nonprofit, founded by Norman Lear, was launched in 2003 as the culmination of the Declaration of Independence Road Trip, a nationwide multi-media exhibit and tour of an original copy of the Declaration of Independence.