Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon will publicly read the Declaration of Independence in a re-enactment outside Independence Hall in Philadelphia on Friday, July 8.
That’s the 240th anniversary of the Declaration’s first reading and the 39th year for the National Park Service to re-enact the event which occurred on July 8, 1776.
Turns out that on that day, the Declaration was first publicly read by the sheriff of Philadelphia, Col. John Nixon, who is an ancestor of Gov. Nixon.
In a statement Friday, the governor said he was deeply honored by the opportunity. He’ll read the document on the same spot where it was read in 1776.
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“At the time the Declaration of Independence was written, signed and read, the signers and those who believed in the cause for independence didn’t know if it was tantamount to a death sentence for treason against the Crown,” Nixon said.
“It may be difficult for us today to imagine what a daring act this was. It will be both humbling and moving to be in the same place as one of my forefathers and read the same piece of American history that he did back in 1776.”
The re-enactment will take place at noon Eastern Time on July 8. The governor, who will be outfitted in 18th-century style clothing, will be escorted to the reading platform by two actors playing the part of militia men. Nixon will read the Declaration in the text in which it was written from a replica “Dunlap Broadside” scroll.