Template:POTD/2014-07-04

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Engrossed copy of the United States Declaration of Independence

The engrossed copy of the United States Declaration of Independence, which was ratified on July 4, 1776, and signed over the following months.

The history of this document is one of reverence and neglect. After being signed, it was moved several times, first with the Continental Congress and later with the Secretary of State. When the British razed Washington during the War of 1812, it was evacuated to Virginia. From 1841 to 1876, the document was on public display in conditions which caused it to fade drastically. Consequently, from 1892 to 1922 it was stored between two glass plates and exhibited only rarely. After a period at the Library of Congress, the engrossed copy is now held by the National Archives. It is exhibited in a titanium-aluminum case filled with argon.

Document: Thomas Jefferson et al.
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