We sent an image of the Dunlap broadside, the first printing of the Declaration of Independence, to 24 scholars from across the country. They were asked to read the text of the Declaration — familiar to all and written about by most — and briefly respond.
Some noticed phrases that they hadn’t fully considered before. Others were drawn to the grievances most connected to their own research or to current events. Still others were reminded of the Declaration’s place in their own lives.
The Declaration of Independence is not just something to be recited on the 4th of July and put away until the following year. These fresh takes prove that the Declaration is a living document, worthy of continued conversation and thought.