NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - In an effort to remind people that there is more to the July Fourth holiday that family get-togethers and backyard barbecues, a group of local attorneys took turns reading the Declaration of Independence at the Angelina County Courthouse Friday.
Organizers of the event said that others would be reading the Declaration of Independence at the other 253 county courthouses in the state of Texas Friday.
According to the U.SS. State Department's Office of the Historian, the 13 American colonies' representatives to the Continental Congress issued the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 and severed their political connections to Great Britain.
"The Declaration summarized the colonists' motivations for seeking independence." The Office of the Historian website stated. "By declaring themselves an independent nation, the American colonists were able to confirm an official alliance with the Government of France and obtain French assistance in the war against Great Britain."
Many people above a certain age may remember having to memorize at least the first part of the Declaration of Independence in school.
"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation," the Declaration of Independence states.
The Declaration goes on to say that the 56 men who of the historic document held certain truths to be "self-evident." It says that "all men are created equal" and "they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."
Although there are some areas of disagreement, most U.S. historians agree that the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were considered traitors to Great Britain from that point on. Many of them were captured and tortured by the British before they were executed, others fought and died in the Revolutionary War, or they lost children in the war. Others were jailed, or they lost everything they owned as a result of signing the Declaration.
For the full text of the Declaration of Independence, click this link.