ABILENE -- The Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum announces an original copy of the Declaration of Independence will be on display Wednesday, April 27th. To maximize the short window of opportunity, museum hours will be extended in an effort to allow as many visitors as possible to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view our Nation's birth certificate.
The Museum will be open again Wednesday from 7:00am till 10:00pm and offer reduced admission. Children and teens 18 and under will be free and others will be $5. Active duty military always receive free admission.
The Dunlap broadside is one of 25 remaining original copies of the Declaration of Independence. After adopting the Declaration on the morning of July 4, 1776, the original was sent to a printer named John Dunlap. He typeset and printed about 200 copies that were carried by horseback out to the colonies' political and military leaders. The calligraphy version signed by the members was not penned until August 2, 1776.
The document was discovered hidden behind a framed painting purchased for $4 at a flea market. Hollywood producer Norman Lear and his wife, Lyn, purchased this original copy in a Sotheby's online auction for $8.14 million. Their goal was to bring "the people's document" directly to the American people. This document has been shown in nearly every state.
"We are pleased to partner with Norman Lear's foundation, Declare Yourself. We are honored to be the site selected in Kansas to display this historical broadside," states Karl Weissenbach, Director. "This will perhaps be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for all Kansans to see an original copy of one of the nation's most cherished documents without having to travel to Washington, D.C. We encourage all K-12 and higher education students to come to Abilene for this exhibit and learn more about the founding of this great nation."
"When I first looked at the Declaration of Independence, my eyes welled up. I thought - this is our nation's birth certificate, the people's document, and it should visit Americans, rather than sit somewhere on a wall waiting for Americans to come to it, as a reminder of the freedoms we all cherish," said Norman Lear.
The Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, a nonpartisan federal institution, is part of the Presidential Libraries network operated by the National Archives and Records Administration. Presidential Libraries promote understanding of the presidency and the American experience. We preserve and provide access to historical materials, support research, and create interactive programs and exhibits that educate and inspire.