Arizona Secretary of State - Ken Bennett

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For Immediate Release
Feb. 10, 2010

Contact: Matthew Benson
Director of Communications
602-350-2834 - mobile

Twitter: @therealAZsos

Declaration of Independence comes to State Capitol

One of 26 known original copies of the Declaration of Independence will be at the State Capitol for a pair of special viewings this month. The document will be at the Capitol on the evening of Feb. 19 for an opening event and viewing reception for state lawmakers, public officials and other dignitaries. The following day, Feb. 20, the Declaration of Independence will be on display at a free viewing for members of the public.

The visit of the Declaration of Independence is being underwritten by the Pearson Foundation.

What: Rare viewing of one of the original copies of the Declaration of Independence

This copy, one of about 200 original Dunlap Broadsides printed on July 4, 1776, was believed lost to history. But it was rediscovered in 1989 by a flea market shopper who found the document hidden behind a picture frame he had purchased for $4. In 2000, noted Hollywood producer and philanthropist Norman Lear purchased the copy for $8.1 million. In the years since, he and his wife have worked to ensure that “the people's document” remains accessible to the people.

Feb. 19 – Opening Event and Dignitary Reception (media and invited guests only)
4 p.m. Media check-in
5 p.m. Program begins. Welcome statement by Ken Bennett, Secretary of State
5:10 p.m.– Presentation of colors, student-led Pledge of Allegiance
5:15 p.m.– Students presented certificates for National Student/Parent Mock Election
5:35 p.m.– Polly Rosenbaum Writing Contest winners read their essays/poems
5:45 p.m. – Closing remarks
5:50 to 6:30 p.m. – Open viewing of the Declaration of Independence for invited guests

Feb. 20 – Public viewing (No invitation needed. Exhibit is free-of-charge.)
Doors will open at 8 a.m. and close at 5 p.m., rain or shine.

Where: Arizona Capitol Museum, 1700 W. Washington St., Phoenix
Note: The Museum is in the state's historic Capitol building. Enter through doors on the east side.

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For all media questions, or to schedule an interview with Secretary Bennett, contact Matthew Benson, director of communications, at (602) 350-2834.

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