This Day in History - 28 June 1776
Somehow, I don't think it went down quite like this:
It probably wasn't even like what is portrayed in this painting of the event by John Trumbell:
In fact, despite how the musical 1776 presents it, the Declaration itself was tabled. Instead Congress debated whether or not to declare indepenedence on 1 & 2 July before even getting to the document. John Adams did lead the charge. & John Dickinson was the leading opponant of doing anything at this time. After the 2 July vote declaring independence, the debate on the document itself began. That is the debate that is shown in the musical combined with soem of the debate on declaring independence itself. Actual records of the debate do not exist, so anything in the musical is based on later writings by those involved or dramatic license like the musical's portrayal of the slave trade passage debate.
The document presented on this day was written by Jefferson. Adams & Franklin did give a little feedback & made some minor changes, but Livingston & Sherman probably didn't even see Jefferson's draft.
The 1 thing 1776 does really get across though is how fragile things were & how close we came to NOT declaring independence that Summer. & yes it was "hot as hell in Philadephia!" that June & July.
As for the debate over our national bird, Franklin did want the turkey. & in light of how things are in DC these days, I think they should have listened to him. But the debate to adopt th eagle came long after this.
& if you wonder what John Adams thought of the painting (from the HBO miniseries based on David McCullough's book.):