Robert Ward, local historian, was in studio Monday morning to talk to WPKY about the reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th.

Robert first told listeners that the reading of the Declaration of Independence will be on Wednesday, July 4th at 10AM at Planter’s Park in Princeton. The reading will take between fifteen and twenty minutes and will be done rain or shine and people are being encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs if they would like to.

Robert then told listeners a bit of history surrounding the Declaration of Independence. On July 4th, 1776 the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence during a meeting at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, but drafts of the document actually began in June 1776. A committee of five men, including Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingstone, were chosen on June 11th to begin drafting the document, which was an explanation as to why the Colonies wished to separate from Great Britain. The Congress, made up of a group of delegates from all across the Colonies, debated the document from July 2nd through the 4th, finally adopting the altered version on the 4th. The first time the document was read in public was outside Independence Hall on July 8th. Fifty-six men signed the document, but not until August 2nd. However, the names of those who signed were not immediately released as the act was one of treason. Their names were not publicly known until January 1777 and most of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence lost everything they had during the course of the war. Robert then stated that this year marks the 242nd anniversary of the adoption of the document.

The reading of the Declaration of Independence will be held on Wednesday, July 4th, at 10AM at Planter’s Park in Princeton.

You can catch the full interview with Robert Ward, where he speaks more on the Nation’s history, below.