Posted by: Andrew | June 22, 2009

Princess Cruises to showcase the only traveling copy of the Declaration of Independence to celebrate the coming July 4th week

A rare, original copy of the United States of America’s founding document will make an exclusive appearance aboard Princess Cruises Alaska based ships during the 4th of July week, giving passengers the rare opportunity to see the only traveling copy of the Declaration of Independence – just as the country celebrates Independence Day. The historic exhibit will be showcased aboard all Princess ships with port of call in Juneau between July 1-8, 2009.
While each ship is docked in Juneau, the Declaration will be on display aboard the vessels for about two hours . The document will be shown aboard Diamond Princess and Star Princess on July 1; Coral Princess on July 2; Island Princess on July 3; Pacific Princess and Golden Princess on July 6, and Sapphire Princess and Sea Princess on July 8.
“This is an amazing opportunity for our passengers to get a first-hand look at history, which is especially poignant at a time of year when our country celebrates its independence,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president.  “It’s a rare occasion when we can bring such a unique attraction right on board – this document has never been shown on a cruise ship before. It will be a memorable way to mark the week of Independence Day as well as Alaska’s 50th anniversary of statehood.”
This being the only touring copy of the Declaration of Independence, the historic document is one of an estimated 200 original broadside copies (about the size of a sheet of newspaper) printed by John Dunlap in Philadelphia in 1776 after it was drafted by Thomas Jefferson, to distribute across the colonies and to King George in England. This copy’s current journey began in 1989 when a Pennsylvania shopper bought a frame at a flea market for $4.00. Later, while inspecting a tear in the back of the painting, he discovered a piece of paper wedged between the frame and painting. He pulled it out and uncovered the 25th remaining copy of the Declaration of Independence.   The document changed hands several times and was purchased in 2000 by Lyn and Norman Lear for $8.14 million, with the idea of bringing the document directly to the American people.

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