On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee proposed a resolution to the Continental Congress stating that "these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States." Four days later Congress appointed a committee to draft a declaration embodying the intent of the resolution. [...] On June 28 the committee submitted to Congress "A Declaration by the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress Assembled." The Congress passed [the] original resolution on July 2, thus deciding in favor of independence, but took three days to debate and amend the committee's draft declaration before approving it on July 4. "The Unanimous Declaration of the 13 United States of America" (the Continental Congress never officially called it the Declaration of Independence) was engrossed on parchment, and on August 2 every member present signed it, the remaining members signing later.
For this PLS Presents 4th of July Podcast we gathered staff and volunteers, of the Pioneer Library System, for a collaborative reading of the Declaration of Independence. We each took a part and added our own interpretation to it. Although some of the words used are a bit foreign to today's modern listener - we hope to convey to the listener that regardless of our backgrounds (race, ethnicity, religion, gender, age, etc) the Declaration of Independence holds a place near and dear to our hearts.