Interactive kiosks and graphic-novel-style illustrations tell the story of how the news of independence spread in the American colonies in the Newseum's exhibit, "1776 - Breaking News: Independence." The gallery features the July 6, 1776, edition of The Pennsylvania Evening Post, the first newspaper to print the Declaration of Independence, and several videos about the role printers and journalists such as Benjamin Towne and Thomas Paine played in promoting American independence.
Haven't had a chance to check out the exhibit or want to experience the call for independence again after your visit? No problem! The exhibit's videos and all four pages of the July 6, 1776, edition of The Pennsylvania Evening Post are now available to view and on NewseumED. Use the zoom feature to read every word of this rare newspaper and watch videos from the exhibit again and again.
The "Breaking News: Independence" exhibit is made possible with generous support from David M. Rubenstein.
About the rare 'Evening Post'
In July 1776, delegates from all 13 colonies congregated in Philadelphia to draft a declaration stating their reasons for independence from Britain. Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft and it was discussed and revised by the Second Continental Congress. The manuscript copy of the Declaration of Independence was first printed as a single-sheet broadside by John Dunlap, a Philadelphia printer, and distributed on July 4, 1776, to be read publicly.
Wanting to get the word out to all colonists, the Continental Congress ordered the Declaration of Independence be printed in newspapers as well. Benjamin Towne, another Philadelphia printer, became the first to publish it in a newspaper on July 6, 1776. His Pennsylvania Evening Post cost 2 coppers, which appealed to a mass audience. The Newseum currently showcases one of only 19 known copies of the July 6, 1776, edition of The Pennsylvania Evening Post. It's on loan, courtesy of David M. Rubenstein.
Videos in the 1776 exhibit
Benjamin Towne, Thomas Paine and Isaiah Thomas all played major roles in the road to independence. Learn more about them in the following videos.