A page from the Declaration of Independence is displayed at the New York Public Library on July 3, 2009.
When in the course of human events, someone decides to turn American history into a contest, you could guess there would be a declaration of independent and team competitors ready to vie for the title of top historian.
As thousands of junior and senior high school students gather in College Park for this year’s weeklong National History Day competitions, they will get to enjoy a rare treat. On display for all to see is an original copy of one of the most important documents in America’s history, The Declaration of Independence.
The document, with its recognizable copperplate calligraphy, is one of the original printings of the declaration of America’s independence from Great Britain
. It made its first visit to the state of Maryland
Monday as part of this year’s National History Day festivities. It is one of a rare few copies printed and sent out to the Colonies after the Continental Congress adopted the wording.
The visiting copy is now owned by Hollywood producer Norman Lear
. The signed copy is kept in Washington at the National Archives.
As the students vie for first place in the various history-related contests this week, they will no doubt hope the words "we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal" will not ring so true as they did in Philadelphia
240 years ago.
Competitors being competitors, they will surely each be hoping their team is not the equal, but the BEST.