Five Little-Known Facts About the Declaration of Independence
• The official Declaration was actually preceded by several local declarations of independence issued by towns, counties and states during the spring and early summer of 1776. Most notable was that of the small hamlet of Marlborough, Massachusetts which stated, in full, “We’re wicked pissed.”
• After the success of the Declaration, Thomas Jefferson was quickly signed on to write a sequel to capitalize on the buzz. Alas, Declaration II: Philadelphia Nights was a dismal commercial failure, despite Ben Franklin’s glowing review that it delivered “arse-kicking good fun.”
• The Second Continental Congress was initially established as a “Senior Executive Golf and Spa Retreat” for the colonies’ well-heeled leaders, until public outcry for revolution and poor link conditions diverted their attention.
• The Declaration was originally conceived to be real aloud in beat to Hadyn and Bach music samples, but the conceit was soon discarded when the rhyming structure proved far too unwieldy.
• John Hancock became the first signer of the Declaration only after besting the other representatives in a competition one onlooker described as “a most contentious rivalry of character strength both great and admirable”–otherwise known as bare-knuckle boxing.
And, of course, it just can’t be the Fourth of July without Schoolhouse Rock: