About the Declaration of Independence Exhibit:
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Joined by Andrea Kajer of the Minnesota Historical Society and Jane Leonard of the Sesquicentennial Commission, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie announced today that a rare, original copy of the Declaration of Independence will visit Minnesota this year. The Declaration will be part of a display at the Minnesota History Center, May 6-18, coinciding with Minnesota Statehood Week, which commemorates the 150th anniversary of Minnesota becoming the 32nd state of the Union.

The Declaration of Independence, considered the nation’s “birth certificate,” laid the foundation for personal freedoms and individual rights in the United States and around the world. This copy, known as a “Dunlap Broadside,” is one of only 25 remaining original copies of the Declaration printed on the evening of July 4, 1776, at the shop of Philadelphia printer John Dunlap – and the only one that travels for exhibition. Another copy was sent to Gen. George Washington, who read it aloud to his troops. Still another copy was sent to King George III.

The document is valued at more than $8 million. The Declaration comes to Minnesota via a presenting sponsorship by Dolan Media Company.
“Bringing the Declaration – the bedrock of our democracy – to Minnesota is an honor for Dolan Media,” says Jim Dolan, president, CEO and chairman of Dolan Media Company. “The Declaration sparked the freedoms that we all enjoy in both our personal and professional lives.”

The visit of the Declaration will also serve as the centerpiece of the Secretary of State’s “Democracy Starts Here” series of exhibits, conferences, and seminars exploring the history and future of Minnesota and the Office of the Secretary of State.

“This is the most vital document in our living American history,” Ritchie says. “This visit appropriately coincides with our celebration of Minnesota’s 150th birthday, and occurs in a year when Minnesotans will go to vote at the polls and exercise one of their most basic rights.”