Declaration of Independence
Long before Thomas Jefferson’s face was carved in stone at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, a 33-year-old Jefferson held the U.S. Declaration of Independence in his hands and presented it to John Hancock and the rest of the 2nd Continental Congress.
Although a visit to Mount Rushmore is essential while visiting the Black Hills, make sure to also stop along the way to America’s Founding Fathers Exhibit to learn how the Declaration of Independence helped to shape American democracy into what it is today.
Proclaiming the ideals of the nation, the Declaration of Independence also contains the powerful statement that the government receives its power from those that it governs. The document provided hope to the people in the colonies who felt failed by the tyranny of British rule under King George III.
The patriotism of the Mount Rushmore state provides the perfect backdrop for learning more about the critical moment in history when the founding fathers were preparing to sign the Declaration of Independence. While you’re observing the contributions made to this country by our presidents, don’t forget to pay tribute to the founding fathers, who persevered to secure America’s freedom.
Today, the American people are still inspired by the most famous lines from the historical document, which are contained in the preamble:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness."