Fifty-nine years ago, John Patrick Hunter, a reporter for The Capital Times, was looking for a Fourth of July story for the Madison newspaper. He took the preamble to the Declaration of Independence, six of the ten amendments that make up the Bill of Rights, plus the 15th amendment, typed them up in the form of a petition and went to Vilas Park to see who would sign this document. Of the 112 people he talked to that day, only one would sign.
They undoubtedly didn’t recognize the words from these historic documents.
If you’ve forgotten what’s written in The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, perhaps this weekend is a good time for a review. While you can certainly find both documents on the Internet, we’d like to offer you some more interesting alternatives.
You can download a FREE PDF copy of the original documents from the National Archives. Both the Declaration of Independence and The Constitution of the United States are available for download as high resolution images, but since they’re handwritten, you may find reading them in this form a bit of a challenge. Click on the “read the transcript” button for each document and you’ll have access to a print friendly copy, too.
If you have an iPad, you may download a FREE “Constitution for iPad” app from the iTunes Store. However, this app comes with ads, which some reviewers have found to be annoying.
Fill out an online form and The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, will send you one FREE pocket-sized copy of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. **
**(Update (7/2/2011): Since last year the Heritage Foundation has apparently changed its policy. They now require a “gift of $25 or more” in order to receive 5 “free” copies of the Constitution — a kind of double talk that really means they no longer offer free copies.