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US: 9 Things You May Not Know About the Declaration of Independence | By ELIZABETH HARRISON

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As people across the United States celebrate the nation’s birthday, explore nine surprising facts about the founding document adopted on July 4, 1776.

1. The Declaration of Independence wasn’t signed on July 4, 1776.

On July 1, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, and on the following day 12 of the 13 colonies voted in favor of Richard Henry Lee’s motion for independence. The delegates then spent the next two days debating and revising the language of a statement drafted by Thomas Jefferson. On July 4, Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence, and as a result the date is celebrated as Independence Day. Nearly a month would go by, however, before the actual signing of the document took place. First, New York’s delegates didn’t officially give their support until July 9 because their home assembly hadn’t yet authorized them to vote in favor of independence. Next, it took two weeks for the Declaration to be “engrossed”—written on parchment in a clear hand. Most of the delegates signed on August 2, but several—Elbridge Gerry, Oliver Wolcott, Lewis Morris, Thomas McKean and Matthew Thornton—signed on a later date. (Two others, John Dickinson and Robert R. Livingston, never signed at all.) The signed parchment copy now resides at the National Archives in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom, alongside the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

2. More than one copy exists.

After the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, the “Committee of Five”—Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston—was charged with overseeing the reproduction of the approved text. This was completed at the shop of Philadelphia printer John Dunlap. On July 5, Dunlap’s copies were dispatched across the 13 colonies to newspapers, local officials and the commanders of the Continental troops. These rare documents, known as “Dunlap broadsides,” predate the engrossed version signed by the delegates. Of the hundreds thought to have been printed on the night of July 4, only 26 copies survive. Most are held in museum and library collections, but three are privately owned.

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3. When news of the Declaration of Independence reached New York City, it started a riot.

By July 9, 1776, a copy of the Declaration of Independence had reached New York City. With hundreds of British naval ships occupying New York Harbor, revolutionary spirit and military tensions were running high. George Washington, commander of the Continental forces in New York, read the document aloud in front of City Hall. A raucous crowd cheered the inspiring words, and later that day tore down a nearby statue of George III. The statue was subsequently melted down and shaped into more than 42,000 musket balls for the fledgling American army.

4. Eight of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were born in Britain.

While the majority of the members of the Second Continental Congress were native-born Americans, eight of the men voting for independence from Britain were born there. Button Gwinnett and Robert Morris were born in England, Francis Lewis was born in Wales, James Wilson and John Witherspoon were born in Scotland, George Taylor and Matthew Thornton were born in Ireland and James Smith hailed from Northern Ireland.

5. One signer later recanted.

Richard Stockton, a lawyer from Princeton, New Jersey, became the only signer of the Declaration of Independence to recant his support of the revolution. On November 30, 1776, the hapless delegate was captured by the British and thrown in jail. After months of harsh treatment and meager rations, Stockton repudiated his signature on the Declaration of Independence and swore his allegiance to King George III. A broken man when he regained his freedom, he took a new oath of loyalty to the state of New Jersey in December 1777.

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6. There was a 44-year age difference between the youngest and oldest signers.

The oldest signer was Benjamin Franklin, 70 years old when he scrawled his name on the parchment. The youngest was Edward Rutledge, a lawyer from South Carolina who was only 26 at the time. Rutledge narrowly beat out fellow South Carolinian Thomas Lynch Jr., just four months his senior, for the title.

7. Two additional copies have been found in the last 25 years.

In 1989, a Philadelphia man found an original Dunlap Broadside hidden in the back of a picture frame he bought at a flea market for $4. One of the few surviving copies from the official first printing of the Declaration, it was in excellent condition and sold for $8.1 million in 2000. A 26th known Dunlap broadside emerged at the British National Archives in 2009, hidden for centuries in a box of papers captured from American colonists during the Revolutionary War. One of three Dunlap broadsides at the National Archives, the copy remains there to this day.

8. The Declaration of Independence spent World War II in Fort Knox.

On December 23, 1941, just over two weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the signed Declaration, together with the Constitution, was removed from public display and prepared for evacuation out of Washington, D.C. Under the supervision of armed guards, the founding document was packed in a specially designed container, latched with padlocks, sealed with lead and placed in a larger box. All told, 150 pounds of protective gear surrounded the parchment. On December 26 and 27, accompanied by Secret Service agents, it traveled by train to Louisville, Kentucky, where a cavalry troop of the 13th Armored Division escorted it to Fort Knox. The Declaration was returned to Washington, D.C., in 1944.

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9. There is something written on the back of the Declaration of Independence.

In the movie “National Treasure,” Nicholas Cage’s character claims that the back of the Declaration contains a treasure map with encrypted instructions from the founding fathers, written in invisible ink. Unfortunately, this is not the case. There is, however, a simpler message, written upside-down across the bottom of the signed document: “Original Declaration of Independence dated 4th July 1776.” No one knows who exactly wrote this or when, but during the Revolutionary War years the parchment was frequently rolled up for transport. It’s thought that the text was added as a label.

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National Issues

Nigeria’s GDP shrinks by 6.10 per cent

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The Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday revealed that the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has decreased by six percent in real terms in the second quarter of 2020.

This revelation was contained in the NBS’s GDP report.

The retreat ends a three-year trend of low but positive real growth rates recorded since the national economy emerged from recession in 2017.

According to the NBS, the decline was “largely attributable to significantly lower levels of both domestic and international economic activity during the quarter, which resulted from nationwide shutdown efforts aimed at containing the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Nigeria essentially shut down its economy in March – restricting inter-state travel, closing worship centres, schools and markets – as parts of efforts to keep the spread of the novel coronavirus under control.

“The efforts, led by both the Federal and State governments, evolved over the course of the quarter and persisted throughout,” the NBS said.

The oil sector, which accounts for a large percentage of the country’s revenues, recorded negative growth of 6.63 percent, “indicating a decrease of –13.80% points relative to the rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019.”

The non-oil sector also declined by 6.05% in real terms during the second quarter.

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“It was the first decline in real non-oil GDP growth rate since Q3 2017,” the NBS said.

Not a surprise

The economy’s decline did not come as a surprise to many as the coronavirus pandemic has gutted economic productivity across the world.

The report will be “negative,” Presidential aide, Tolu Ogunlesi, tweeted on Sunday. “Tomorrow we find out to what degree.”

The third-quarter results have also been projected to be negative, which will officially land the economy in a recession.

A recession is only declared after two consecutive quarterly contractions.

In May, Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, predicted that the country was heading towards a recession.

“On the economy, COVID-19 has resulted in the collapse in oil prices,” she said after a National Economic Summit meeting. “This will impact negatively, and the impact has already started showing on the federation’s revenues and on the foreign exchange earnings.”

 

Source: Channels TV

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National Issues

NDDC: Students protest in London over non-payment of tuition fees { Photos}

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Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) scholars on Monday protested the non-payment of their tuition fees by the commission.

The NDDC students staged their protest at the Nigerian High Commission in London

The students, who had planned to picket the high commission over the non-payment of their tuition by the NDDC were, however, prevented by the metropolitan police.

 

But they later apologised for their action which initially disrupted activities at the high commission before the intervention of the police.

The scholars also alleged that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) had neglected them.

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Buhari’s anti-graft war has failed, says Odumakin

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The publicity secretary of pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin on Tuesday pronounced that President Muhammadu Buhari’s much talked-about anti-graft war has collapsed and failed.

Odumakin made this pronouncement while featuring Parrot Xtra Hour on Radio, in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.

According to him, the five-year anti-corruption war of Buhari ‘wombled and fumbled’ until recently when everything came to the open on how corrupt the system has been.

He said, “those inside know that there is no anti-corruption war. Those in the circle, on the corridors of power know that there is no war against graft. All sorts of embarrassing moments are being witnessed today to confirm this assertion.”

Since he was at a time very close to President Buhari, Odumakin was asked what he would tell the President on this issue of corruption if he should meet with him.

His response: “I will only tell him to go and retool. The corruption war he has been fighting has collapsed. The people of Nigeria do not understand again.”

He also addressed the issue raised by some observers that the President is no more in control of things in Aso Rock, the seat of power.

“Yes, Presidency has responded to those observers by saying that it is not true and that those who made the observation do not know what they are talking about. No. Those observers have their facts. Things have collapsed in Aso Rock. I quite agree with them. President Buhari must retool immediately.”

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He later revealed that while he worked as spokesperson for President Buhari’s former party, CPC, he was not being paid.

“I was not getting paid while I worked as the spokesperson for CPC. So, when he lost, he said he was not contesting again in 2011. That was how our working relationship frizzled out.”

On his relationship with ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Odumakin submitted “I got to meet Dr Jonathan through a vibrant young man, late Oronto Douglas. Then, we were made to understand that he, (Jonathan) would hold a National Conference and implement the report and outcome. That was why we related with him at Afenifere.

“You see, at Afenifere, we are passionate about restructuring. Anybody that is ready to do this will be supported by us”.

He also took time to speak about the leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

“There was a time we had issues. People from his camp threw jabs at me and I responded appropriately. Many leaders from Yorubaland intervened and the matter was settled.”

On the issue of whether Afenifere will support the perceived presidential ambition of the APC leader, Odumakin responded “It is true our leader at Afenifere addressed the topic. He did not emphatically confirm that Afenifere would support Tinubu. He said, since the APC leader is a Yorubaman, Afenifere may support him. Especially if he will pursue restructuring.”

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When speaking on the emergence of Professor Banji Akintoye as the leader of the Yorubas, Odumakin said “Professor Akintoye is not the leader of the Yorubas. He is the leader of Yoruba World Congress. Yorubas do not have any leader for now.”

The former journalist also addressed the issue of Amotekun saying, “it is a welcome development. Initially, Afenifere opposed the idea because we felt it would have been more reasonable to agitate for the establishment of state police.

“But when those people said we could not put Amotekun in place in Yorubaland, that was when we got up in support. It is our right. The north has its own version of Amotekun. My only desire, prayer is that the Amotekun project should be well organized and maintained.”

Odumakin equally used the opportunity to endorse the activities of the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN Commission).

“DAWN Commission is a worthy project being carried out by the governors of the Yoruba states. Afenifere is in full support and I believe the commission can do so much to hasten the development of Yorubaland.”

While speaking on the probability of running for an elective position. Dr Joe Odumakin’s husband said “I am not a politician. I am a political activist. But I will contest if and when our political terrain becomes transformed and politics of real progressivism is being practiced. I do not want to just join the bandwagon.”

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