Original copy of Declaration to visit

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 13, 2002

The stirring words of the Declaration of Independence will be on display in Selma when the only original copy currently on tour stops here Jan. 22 and 23.

One of only 25 remaining Dunlap broadsides printed on July 4, 1776, the touring copy will be on display at the Slavery and Civil War Museum on Water Avenue.

The stop in Selma is part of a 3 1/2 year cross-country tour that began after TV producer Norman Lear purchased the copy in June 2000.

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The exhibit features historical and contemporary photos, video and music. It includes a 14-minute film, produced by Lear and Rob Reiner and shot at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, featuring actors such as Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman and Whoopi Goldberg giving a dramatic reading of the Declaration.

The stated purpose of the tour is to inspire viewers to participate in civic activism, to exercise their rights and, above all, to vote. The honorary co-chairs for the tour are former presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford.

Lear is perhaps most famous for bringing Archie Bunker, another American original, to audiences in the long-running &uot;All in the Family.&uot;

The tour is being sponsored by The Home Depot, the nation’s largest home improvement retailer. For more information you can visit the tour website at www.independenceroadtrip.org.