First Time Historic Document Has Visited Alaska
Celebrating the Fourth of July and Alaska’s 50th anniversary of statehood, Princess Cruises showcased a rare, original copy of the United States of America’s founding document aboard Coral Princess Thursday during an onboard reception with local dignitaries and special guests.
The document was aboard Coral Princess to give passengers the unique opportunity to view the only traveling copy of the Declaration of Independence. This rare document is being showcased to more than 17,000 passengers aboard all eight Princess ships visiting Juneau during Independence week, July 1-8.
Hosted in partnership with Declare Yourself, a non-profit organization founded by legendary television producer Norman Lear, this unique opportunity marks the first time the copy of the Declaration has visited Alaska, and the first time a cruise line has shown the famous document.
The only touring copy of the Declaration of Independence, Declare Yourself’s 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 what would soon be authenticated as 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 goal of bringing the document directly to the American people.
Declare Yourself is a national nonpartisan, nonprofit campaign that was founded in 2003 to empower and encourage every eligible 18-year-old in America to register to vote.