By Paul Gable
Conway attorney Johnny Gardner will read the Declaration of Independence from the steps of the Old Courthouse in Conway Tuesday morning at 10 a.m.
The public reading of the Declaration of Independence by criminal defense attorneys was begun in Houston, Texas eight years ago by attorney Robert Fickman. It has caught on throughout the state since that first reading.
“The Declaration of Independence is our country’s most revered symbol of a nation’s stand against the illegal and immoral depredations of the crown against our citizens,” Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association representatives said in a news release. “These readings are our reminder to all in the criminal justice system that abuses of power will be exposed and fought by members of the defense bar.”
Gardner, the recent winner of the Republican nomination for Horry County Council Chairman, liked the concept so much he decided to bring the tradition to Horry County.
“When I read about what the Texas attorneys were doing, I thought it was a great idea to bring to Horry County,” Gardner said.
The Declaration of Independence is the founding document of what has become the United States of America.
On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee introduced a resolution to the Continental Congress that Congress should declare the United Colonies free and independent states.
Congress adjourned on June 11, 1776, after voting to postpone consideration of Lee’s resolution until it reconvened in three weeks. A Committee of Five was appointed to draft a statement to the world, in the three week interim, presenting the colonies’ case for independence.
On July 2, 1776, the Congress adopted Lee’s resolution by a vote of 12-0 with New York abstaining. Two days later, Congress adopted an edited version of the statement, which became known as the Declaration of Independence.
John Adams considered July 2, 1776 as the birthday of America. It became July 4th because that was the day the adopted Declaration was read out to the public.