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Where the Declaration of Independence began

Published Oct. 4, 2005

The only surviving fragment of Thomas Jefferson's earliest known draft of the Declaration of Independence went on display Thursday at the Library of Congress in Washington. For five days, the public gets to see it, as well as rough drafts with revisions by Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and others. The earliest draft had never been displayed. Others were on permanent display until the 1940s, when experts decided light was damaging them. The documents are exhibited in a hall lit by three candle-feet of power _ less than a 10th of a normal room.