ALERT: Dome Restoration Project Necessitates Rotunda Closure April 12 through April 28.
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In June 1776, the Second Continental Congress appointed five delegates—John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, Robert R. Livingston, and Thomas Jefferson—to compose a declaration of the American colonies’ unanimous decision to sever their ties with Great Britain. Thomas Jefferson, an eloquent writer well versed in key political thought, drafted the text, which Adams and Franklin edited. Congress voted for independence on July 2, and after further modifications approved the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.