Friday, July 04, 2003

The House of Cheer is all about tradition, but it's also a place which prizes innovation. Luckily, this Independence Day I've found a way to honor both impulses and enhance my street cred as an amateur history geek.

Rather than simply direct you to the text of the Declaration of Independence, as I did last 4th of July, this year I've stumbled upon the equivalent of a DVD re-release, packed with extras and scenes not shown in the theaters.

Courtesy of the Duke University English Department and one D.J. Mason, the HoC is proud to bring you The Declaration of Independence: Widescreen Special Edition.

Purists can view the popular final version, as originally "submitted to a candid world" 227 years ago today.

Fans of Jefferson will enjoy the director's cut, his unsullied vision of the work. Additionally, you can check out the stunning concept art of this version provided by the Library of Congress.

You can ponder what might have been if the Second Continental Congress had accepted the Declaration Committee's revision of Jefferson's "rough draft."

And for those of you who love behind-the-scenes stuff, there's the original with commentary, which provides insights you might not know about this American classic.

Here's hoping this 4th of July is full of "pomp and parade... shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other," just as John Adams envisioned it would be.

While we celebrate, let's take a moment to think about the men and women serving overseas today. May they all be safe, and return home to their loved ones soon.

Happy Independence Day, everybody.
Posted @ 10:40 AM


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