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Historic Washington State Park celebrates Independence Day with the reading of the Declaration of Independence

Historic Washington State Park celebrates Independence Day with the reading of the Declaration of Independence

Historic Washington State Park celebrated Independence Day with several readings of the Declaration of Independence.

Readings of this historically significant document took place from July 4 to 6 at 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. in the Visitor Center.

Josh Williams, park curator and reader, said, “Traditionally, there are parades and barbecues on the Fourth of July, but there is always someone reading the Declaration of Independence to commemorate the birth of our country.”

“One of the last things they said in that document was that they pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to each other. Because they signed that document, the members of the Continental Congress were considered traitors to the crown,” Williams said.

He said the original signatories would have been executed if the British had caught them.

“Many lost their lives during the American Revolution, they lost their fortunes and their homes were burned. The British were ordered to burn down every one of their homes. Despite all this, they never lost their sacred honor,” Williams said.

Following the reading, park visitors were invited to sign copies of the Declaration of Independence at the visitor center.

Washington, Arkansas, also called Old Washington, was the site of the Confederate Capitol of Arkansas during the Civil War and was part of the Camden Expedition.

In 1965, the city was officially declared a state park to preserve and relive the history of the Civil War and pre-Civil War eras in Arkansas.

Williams said the city will soon celebrate its bicentennial.

The park features a variety of trades, including farming, blacksmithing, candle making, printing and cooking. There is also a weapons museum.

A tallow candle service will take place on July 13th.

For more information about the park and upcoming events, visit https://www.arkansasstateparks.com/parks/historic-washington-state-park.