Why Americans Should Celebrate Independence Day on July 2nd and Other Little Known Facts About the Declaration of Independence

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While everyone knows that Independence Day is celebrated on July 4th, leading historical document dealer, Seth Kaller, points out that America should really celebrate two days earlier—on July 2nd.

Seth Kaller is the leading rare document dealer and agent in the United States.

Seth Kaller, leading rare document dealer and agent.

Today’s current technology enables millions of people to be informed of an event within seconds thanks to Twitter, Facebook and email, but in 1776 it took nearly a month for word of America’s independence to spread to all of the Colonies.

While everyone knows that Independence Day is celebrated on July 4th, leading historical document dealer, Seth Kaller, points out that America should really celebrate two days earlier—on July 2nd.

Kaller explains, “the Continental Congress actually declared independence on July 2nd but it took another two days for the complete text of the Declaration to be approved.”

The announcement of independence was published on July 2nd in only one newspaper, the Pennsylvania Evening Post, which inserted a brief notice on page four: “This day the CONTINENTAL CONGRESS declared the UNITED COLONIES FREE and INDEPENDENT STATES.” The news is immediately followed by advertisements for a runaway Irish servant, runaway slaves, a runaway “bought apprentice lad” shoemaker, and sales of rum and a ship.

Four days later the Pennsylvania Evening Post became the first newspaper to publish the text of the Declaration of Independence. Kaller recently auctioned a copy of this rare first newspaper printing for $632,500—a record price for any historic newspaper. The sale was held with Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries in New York City. The newspaper was purchased by David Rubenstein.

The July 6, 1776, edition of the Pennsylvania Evening Post was only the second printing of the Declaration in any form. The copy just sold is one of just four issues of the Post’s Declaration printing that have appeared at auction in the past 50 years.

Today’s current technology enables millions of people to be informed of an event within seconds thanks to Twitter, Facebook and email, but in 1776 it took nearly a month for word of America’s independence to spread to all of the Colonies. Even in Philadelphia, the Declaration wasn’t officially read in public until July 8th.

Kaller notes some other interesting facts about our independence that are not usually found in textbooks:

The most famous Founding Father who didn’t sign the Declaration?
George Washington, who was leading the army in New York.

The most valuablesigners’ signature?
Button Gwinnett, of Georgia, was killed in a duel less than a year after the signing so his signatures are exceedingly rare. A genuine Gwinnett signature is worth $150,000.

Was the official engrossed copy at the National Archives signed on July 4th?
No. Signing of the engrossed copy—written by hand on vellum—wasn’t started until August 2. One of the signatures wasn’t even added until years later.

What is the significant difference between the text approved on July 4, 1776 and the “National Treasure” document at the National Archives?
On July 4th, it wasn’t “the unanimous Declaration- NY abstained.

Where is the original manuscript of the declaration?
Not in the National Archives - the July 76 originals are lost.

About Seth Kaller
Seth Kaller is a leading expert in acquiring, authenticating and appraising American historic documents and artifacts. Kaller has built museum-quality collections for individuals and institutions, as well as legacy collections for philanthropists to donate. He has handled important manuscripts and documents relating to the Declaration, the U.S. Constitution, and all U.S. presidents, as well as many other of the world's leading historical figures. Seth Kaller, Inc. is located in White Plains, NY.

Note to Media: Mr. Kaller is available for interview and can bring the July 2, 1776 announcement of Independence, a rare July 1776 broadside of the Declaration Independence and a sought-after 19th century facsimile of the engrossed manuscript.

For arrangements contact Vicki Garfinkel, vickigj(at)gmail(dot)com, 973-519-8926 or Risa Hoag, 845-627-3000.

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