Reading The Declaration Of Independence: A Tradition Continues

Several copies of the Declaration of Independence were printed on July 4, 1776, by John Dunlap, printer to the Continental Congress. There are 26 'Dunlap Broadsides' known to exist today. i i

hide captionSeveral copies of the Declaration of Independence were printed on July 4, 1776, by John Dunlap, printer to the Continental Congress. There are 26 'Dunlap Broadsides' known to exist today.

National Archives
Several copies of the Declaration of Independence were printed on July 4, 1776, by John Dunlap, printer to the Continental Congress. There are 26 'Dunlap Broadsides' known to exist today.

Several copies of the Declaration of Independence were printed on July 4, 1776, by John Dunlap, printer to the Continental Congress. There are 26 'Dunlap Broadsides' known to exist today.

National Archives

It was 238 years ago today that church bells rang out over Philadelphia, as the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. That revolutionary document not only formalized the American colonies' united front in the Revolutionary War, it articulated the ideals of human equality and self-determination that still serve as the guiding principles of American government.

Morning Edition continues its Independence Day tradition of reading that document aloud. This year, we asked visitors at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to do the honors. They are, in order of appearance:

Stewart Merriam (Logan, Utah)

Fritz Naumann (Houston,Texas)

Emaan Khan (Austin, Texas)

Mildred Cobbinah (Kansas City, Mo.)

Jean Hebert (Chippewa Falls, Wis.)

Darwin Danks

Emaan Khan (Austin, Texas)

Mildred Cobbinah (Kansas City, Mo.)

Bill Gentes (Round Lake, Ill.)

Stewart Merriam (Logan, Utah)

Ted Cai (Houston, Texas)

Maryam Saif (Austin, Texas)

Michael Dubberly (Savannah, Ga.)

Christine Gentes (Round Lake, Ill.)

Nadine Pourier-Blumenshine (Fresno, Calif.)

Fritz Noman (Houston,Texas)

Kara Milton (Greensboro, N.C.)

Thomas Horsley (Boston, Mass.)

Dixie Blumenshine (Fresno, Calif.)

Cameron Milton (Greensboro, N.C.)

Thomas Horsley

James O'Halloran (Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom)

Jill and Lauren Gatti (McLean, Va.)

Dallam Masterson (Houston, Texas)

Melinda Burke (Warner Robins, Ga.)

Kevin Yarn (Durham, N.C.)

Jeanne Greenwald (Kansas City, Mo.)

Manolis Ehpetorpakis (Greece)

Marcia Hayes (Marshfield, Mass.)

Leonard Ginsburg (Union, N.J.)

John McAvoy (Taylorville, Ill.)

Isabel Gomez-Rengifo (Cali, Colombia)

Rocco Dicicco (Fresno, Calif.)

Nelsy Rodriguez (Boyaca, Colombia)

Mildred Cobbinah (Kansas City, Mo.)

Gary Combs (Kingsport, Tenn.)

Isabelle Paik (Bellevue, Neb.)

Susan Bennett Eaton (Gray, Tenn.)

Arnold Abraham

Christi Sargent (Beaverton, Ore.)

Corey Armstrong (Louisville, Ky.)

Charmaine Martin (Trinidad and Tobago)

Mike Loth

Caroline Philips Williams

Joseph Smith (Alexandria, Va.)

Correction July 4, 2014

A previous broadcast version of this story inadvertently omitted the words "establish commerce." The words have been restored to the audio.

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