Reenactors Deliver the First Public Reading of the Declaration of Independence

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Friday, July 8, 2022
The First Reading of the Declaration of Independence
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On July 8, 1776 the public got to hear the Declaration of Independence for the first time. Some were thrilled, many weren't!

Independence Hall (WPVI) -- On July 8th, 1776, the public in Philadelphia heard the sounds of Breaking News (bells tolling) and gathered outside The Pennsylvania State House (now better known as Independence Hall). What they saw and heard was Colonel John Nixon reading the document that had been signed inside just a few days earlier: The Declaration of Independence. It was shocking news, and the people on hand were the first in the colonies to hear it.

Many in the crowd were thrilled, but there were other who not at all happy to hear it, yelling "Treason!" and "Long live the King!" There were plenty more who just did not know what to think. But as word made its way through the city, celebrations could be heard and bells continued to ring well into the night

On July 8th, 2022, the public got to see a faithful reenactment of the reading, as actors followed the steps and stood at the same location in Philadelphia. This time there were more supporters in the crowd, but keep your eyes and ears open as you watch the video above - there was some historic discontent too.

The annual reenactment is put on by the National Park Service and this year for the first time was streamed live on