Descendants read Declaration at National Archives event

Three DSDI members participated in a reading of the Declaration of Independence that was televised by C-SPAN on July 4.

The event, sponsored by the National Archives, included DSDI members Laura Belman, John Belman (Samuel Chase, William Ellery, Oliver Wolcott), and Michael Miller (William Williams), plus Laura Murphy, (a descendant of Philip Livingstone). They read the beginning and ending portions of the document. The sentences in between, listing the outrages of King George III, were read by costumed re-enactors Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin, to raucous booing by the crowd. Following the final words, “…our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor” Colonial re-enactor Ned Hector instructed the crowd to shout “Huzzah!” after the name of each state and its signers. A glorious roar completed the event.  Lines to view the Declaration, the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution were non-stop until 7 p.m., in spite of the 100-degree heat.

Steve Scully of C-SPAN was the emcee. The Presentation of Colors, the 3rd U.S. Infantry  “Old Guard ” Fife and Drums, and a keynote speech by Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero entertained the crowd of more than 5,000.

From left: Steve Scully, Laura Murphy, John Belman, Laura Belman, Mike Miller, David S. Ferriero

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