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'John Harris, Jr.' to read Declaration of Independence from Harris-Mansion porch on July 4

Categorized as: Art & Galleries
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The Historical Society of Dauphin County will present the 6th annual public reading of the Declaration of Independence on Monday, July 4, from the porch of the John Harris-Simon Cameron Mansion at 219 S. Front Street, Harrisburg. The Declaration will be read by John Harris, Jr., portrayed by re-enactor David Biser. Readings will take place on the hour at 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and noon.

There is no fee to hear the readings and free parking is available behind the mansion.

Tours of the Harris-Cameron Mansion will be offeredafter each readingat a special price of $4.00. Children six and under will be admitted free. Any police, fire, first responder and military members and their families will be admitted free.

On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress voted to approve the Declaration of Independence inside the Pennsylvania State House (now Independence Hall). The Declaration was printed during the late afternoon by John Dunlap, a local Philadelphia printer. Congress ordered that copies be sent out and that it be proclaimed in each of the new United States. By the next morning, copies were on their way to all thirteen states by horseback.

Four days later, on July 8th, the citizens of Philadelphia were summoned to the State House Yard by the bells of the city. At 12:00 noon, Colonel John Nixon publicly read the Declaration of Independence for the first time. When a copy arrived at Harrisburg, city founder John Harris, Jr. read it to the assembled crowd from the porch of his house along the Susquehanna River.

The Harris-Cameron Mansion is administered by the Historical Society of Dauphin County, whose mission is to collect, preserve, and promote interest in the history of Dauphin County for the benefit of the public.

For more information, phone the society at (717) 233-3462 or visit www.dauphincountyhistory.org.

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