More than two centuries after it was written, the opening of The Declaration of Independence remains one of the best known sentences in the English language, and with good reason-they are arguably the most important words in all of American history: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The Declaration of Independence rings with a purposeful direction toward these truths and away from British rule. Adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, the statement announced that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as independent states, separate from the Crown.
About the Authors:
The signatures of 56 delegates are affixed to the original handwritten copy of The Declaration. However, the document’s authors are most commonly recognized as Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman and Robert Livingston.