Photos: Re-enacting the first time the Declaration of Independence was read aloud

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Bobby Chen (@rysChen)

Four days after ‘Merica’s birthday marks another notable date in U.S. and Philadelphia history: the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. Park rangers re-enacted the July 8, 1776 reading at Independence Hall earlier today, the last event of Independence National Historical Park’s annual Celebrating Independence program.

This is the 36th year Independence National Historical Park has held a reading of the Declaration of Independence. Copies of the Declaration were distributed to attendees.

This is the 36th year Independence National Historical Park has held a reading of the Declaration of Independence. Copies of the Declaration were distributed to attendees.

Attendees were encouraged to cheer (in support of the Declaration) or boo (against rebellion and in solidarity with the Crown) during the reading. Naturally, no one booed.

Attendees were encouraged to cheer (in support of the Declaration) or boo (against rebellion and in solidarity with the Crown) during the reading. No non-re-enactor booed, in case you're wondering.

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<a href="http://www.jobecton.com/"><strong>H</strong></a><a href="http://www.jobecton.com/" target="_blank"><strong>istorian Joe Becton</strong> </a>portrays a circa-1776 attendee of the reading of the Declaration. Becton, staying in character, called foul at the Declaration's failure to emancipate slaves.

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Park ranger Greg Severino, portraying <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Nixon_(military)" target="_blank"><strong>Colonel John Nixon</strong></a> of the revolutionary militia, raises the Declaration to cheers after completing the reading. Severino teaches during the year and works summers as a ranger.

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