In Hempstead County, Arkansas, people celebrated July fourth by listening to a reading of the Declaration of Independence.
Historian Josh Williams, took an audience at Historic Washington State Park back in time. Keisha McKinney said, “It just gives us a chance to pause and remember our freedoms, and be thankful for those who gave them to us.”
Williams read the document from the balcony of one of Hempstead County’s former courthouses. “I think they like the boisterous thing too, with someone shouting it out and reading it that way! That’s what they would use balconies for, and how it was announced even in Philadelphia on July fourth,” he said.
After the reading, people lined up to sign their own copy of the historical document. Margie Reed was handing out feathered pens for people to use. She has family currently serving in the military. Reed said every July fourth is important. “We’re still doing what we did then, to take care of ourselves and to protect ourselves and our freedoms,” she said. Williams added, “This is why we’re here, to remind people of those things that are in our past.”
Historic Washington State Park, located in Washington, Arkansas, has hosted the reading of the Declaration of Independence since 2010.