Declaration of Independence
This is the traditional image we have of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, all the Founding Fathers gathered around, lined up to affix their names to this momentous document, so that the bells could ring out freedom on July 4th. But our dates may be a little off. The Declaration began with a resolution for independence on June 7, 1776. On June 11, the Continental Congress assigned Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston to draft a formal declaration which Thomas Jefferson actually did from June 12-27. Congress debated and revised it, while voting in favor of independence on July 2nd. On July 4th, Congress formally adopted the Declaration and ordered prints made. The Pennsylvania Evening Post published it on July 6 and Washington had it read to the troops July 9. However, it wasn't until July 16 that Congress ordered an engrossed (officially inscribed) copy and on August 2nd, the delegates actually began to sign it.