For the First Time in a Century, NYT Fails to Print Declaration of Independence

Newspaper blames human error
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2022 6:06 PM CDT
NYT Blames Human Error for Big July 4 Omission
An 1823 facsimile of the original Declaration of Independence.   (Public domain)

Monday would have marked the 100th anniversary of a tradition at the New York Times—but the facsimile of the Declaration of the Independence normally printed on the back page of the A section was nowhere to be found. Readers thought the tradition established in 1922 might have been unceremoniously ditched, but the Declaration appeared in its usual spot the next day. "We have a longstanding tradition of printing the Declaration of Independence in the July 4th print edition," Times spokesperson Danielle Rhoades Ha tells Politico. "Due to a human error, it wasn't printed this July 4th so was included in the July 5th edition. We have no plans to change the tradition going forward."

After Adolph Ochs bought the then-struggling newspaper in 1896, he began publishing the full text of the Declaration every July 4, starting in 1897. The Times switching to printing a facsimile of the original document 25 years later. Readers including Anthony Scaramucci noticed the omission Monday and wondered what was going on, Fox reports. Politico notes that it would not have been "far-fetched" for people to suspect the Declaration was left out for ideological reasons. NPR said Monday that it was "updating" its 33-year-old tradition of reading the document to feature a discussion of the history of the document and how the meaning of "equality" changed over the years. (More New York Times stories.)

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