We hold these truths to be self evident….

Almost 250 years ago these immortal words rang through the streets of Charleston when Governor John Rutledge read the Declaration of Independence to the citizens of South Carolina.

 The setting was the steps of the Exchange Building and Customs House and on July 4, 2014, Charleston Mayor Joe Riley and other dignitaries will revisit the scene to commemorate this historic occasion by a reading of the hallowed document to the gathered public.

 The event starts promptly at 9:30 AM in the cool of the morning at the Old Exchange Building and features bagpipe music, a rendition of the National Anthem, a historical review of the inception of the final draft and the presentation of the Declaration of Independence.

 The annual tradition of publicly reading the Declaration of Independence began last year through the organizing efforts and planning from the Washington Light Infantry. Mayor Riley seized on the WLI’s initiative and proclaimed from the podium that it would be an annual event. Joining Mayor Riley in the reading will be Special Facilities Director Can Patterson, Paul Marshall, members of Washington Light Infantry and staff of the Old Exchange.  

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East Bay and Broad Streets will be blocked to vehicular traffic and citizens are encouraged to bring their own seating in front of the Exchange Building and help kick-off the nationwide celebration of patriotism. As an added plus, complimentary bottled water will be given away by the Washington Light Infantry, while supplies last!

 The day will conclude with a wreath-laying ceremony at the grave of Declaration signer Edward Rutledge interred at St. Phillip’s Church. We urge families to bring the kids, RAIN or SHINE, and be part of this FREE celebration of the founding of this great and glorious country!


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