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A July 4 NPR Tradition: A Reading Of The Declaration Of Independence

A painting by John Trumbull titled <em>Declaration of Independence</em> hangs on the wall inside the U.S. Capitol on May 17, 2017.
Mark Wilson
Getty Images
A painting by John Trumbull titled Declaration of Independence hangs on the wall inside the U.S. Capitol on May 17, 2017.

Editor's note on July 8, 2022: This story quotes the U.S. Declaration of Independence — a document that contains offensive language about Native Americans, including a racial slur.

In 1988, Morning Edition launched what has become an Independence Day tradition: hosts, reporters, newscasters and commentators reading the Declaration of Independence.

Church bells rang out over Philadelphia 243 years ago today as the Continental Congress adopted this draft of the Declaration of Independence.

Below is the original text of the Declaration of Independence, alongside photos of the NPR staff members who performed the reading.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: June 23, 2022 at 11:00 PM CDT
An earlier web version of this story incorrectly said Morning Edition began the annual reading in 1989. In fact, the tradition began in 1988.