Press and Journal

Switch to desktop Register Login

Eric Wise

Eric Wise is a stay-at-home dad with three children, ages 11, 9 and 3. He was formerly a reporter for the now-defunct Hershey Chronicle newspaper, and he has 10 years of experience in public relations with four different statewide associations. His home improvement column, "Around the House," appeared in daily and weekly newspapers around Pennsylvania from 2007 to 2009. He is a graduate of Hershey Senior High School and Elizabethtown College. He enjoys reading, playing guitar and photography. 

Reading aloud, just like Nixon did

Rate this item
(0 votes)

This past week, Gettysburg marked the passage of 150 years since the nearly unmatched American-on-American brutality scarred its fields. In the midstate, the commemoration of the Civil War overshadowed the Declaration of Independence on July 4.

Today, the crowds have thinned in Gettysburg, and a reenactment of a different sort broke out in Pennsylvania. A National Park Service Ranger, dressed in period garb, read the Declaration of Independence aloud in a ceremony that is repeated every July 8. Each year, the ranger will perform the Declaration to a lively crowd who cheer the passages about freedom and loudly decry mention of England's King George III. It's a celebration of a different type than those at Gettysburg, when someone like John Wayne* gets up to read the Declaration of Independence at Independence Hall, just like Nixon* once did. 

The Declaration, a proclamation of war, was written with a particular cadence and a certain unquestionable flair -- crafted for reading aloud by men in three-cornered hats. A trip to Philadelphia has its own benefits, as the sites of the Old City have far fewer ticks, mosquitoes and other pests than the path of Gen. Robert E. Lee's men during The Charge on Gettysburg's third day (call it Pickett's Charge if you must, Longstreet's Charge if you choose -- both have unneeded baggage). Since the annual reading kicks off at high noon, you will still have plenty of time to enjoy your time in the city.

Plan now for your trip next July!

* Lt. Col. John Nixon first read the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia July 8, 1776. 
** John Wayne is a park ranger who has dressed up and performed the reading of the Declaration in recent years. 


  • vts6werx1s2


    vts6werx1s2 Thursday, 06 March 2014 22:57 Comment Link
  • cjv0gtly0h8


    cjv0gtly0h8 Thursday, 06 March 2014 19:51 Comment Link
  • gne2tyla4w4


    gne2tyla4w4 Thursday, 06 March 2014 18:50 Comment Link
  • azu6rcek0c8


    azu6rcek0c8 Thursday, 06 March 2014 18:22 Comment Link
  • ppn7kiys6f2


    ppn7kiys6f2 Thursday, 06 March 2014 18:02 Comment Link
  • glo0rmkj2t8


    glo0rmkj2t8 Thursday, 06 March 2014 17:42 Comment Link
  • iye1mcou9l4


    iye1mcou9l4 Thursday, 06 March 2014 17:41 Comment Link
  • qmm2eprj2b2


    qmm2eprj2b2 Thursday, 06 March 2014 17:28 Comment Link
  • phh8jhim6i4


    phh8jhim6i4 Thursday, 06 March 2014 14:20 Comment Link
  • czf3oarb0u5


    czf3oarb0u5 Thursday, 06 March 2014 13:24 Comment Link

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.