We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident… Or Do We? (New York Times)

Declaration of Independence140Some Americans make it a tradition to read the Declaration of Independence on July 4th. But what if they’re not reading it as it was actually intended? Recent research has called into question a period in a sentence that we would really hope to be accurate: the one that begins with “We hold these truths to be self evident…” This spot of ink separates “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” from the roles of government subsequently described, which makes the latter seem subordinate and disconnected from the first, even though the argument could be made that one should lead into the other. The National Archives have made it a “top priority” to find ways of re-examining the delicate original document in order to assess their possible mistake and make any necessary subsequent changes to their online presentation of the Declaration.

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