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Reading The Declaration Of Independence

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Reading The Declaration Of Independence

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Reading The Declaration Of Independence

Reading The Declaration Of Independence

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/92108861/92236752" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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The Founding Fathers are depicted in the painting Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull. The Architect of the Capitol hide caption

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The Architect of the Capitol

The Founding Fathers are depicted in the painting Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull.

The Architect of the Capitol

The original Declaration of Independence. National Archives hide caption

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National Archives

About the Music

The music for this year's reading is "Dawn at Yorktown" by Eric Weinberg.

Twenty years ago, Morning Edition launched what has become an Independence Day tradition: hosts, reporters, newscasters and commentators reading the Declaration of Independence.

A Historic Misquote

For those who missed it ... last year, we corrected a historic footnote. For years, we had said that "on July 4th, 1776, George III, king of England, wrote in his diary, 'Nothing of importance happened today.' "

Turns out we were taken in by an old historic myth.

"King George III never kept a diary," said Arnold Hunt, curator of historical manuscripts at the British Library. "The quote is a variation of another well-known story from the French Revolution."

On July 14, 1789 — the date of the storming of the Bastille — Louis XVI of France wrote in his diary "rien [nothing]." Hunt says Louis was referring to a hunting trip where he came back empty-handed.

Over the years, the story found its way into the folklore of George III and into our radio piece ... until 2007, when we declared our independence from this historic misquote.

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The Declaration Of Independence

Below is the original text of the Declaration of Independence, alongside photos of the NPR staff members and contributors who performed the reading.