My Semiquincentennial Declaration 2026
* Created while isolated during the 2020 Covid-19 outbreak (PA)
* Produced using a combination of multiple Declarations from past
* Phrases that reference God are highlighted in red
* It was produced for the upcoming 2026 semiquincentennial
* United States will celebrate its 250th birthday
* Wonders of the Bible will begin exhibits and programs Fall 2020
By FRANK DEFREITAS for WONDERS OF THE BIBLE
PUBLISHED: JUN 24, 2020 | UPDATED: JUN 25, 2020
PODCAST: My Semiquincentennial Declaration 2026
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PRODUCTION NOTES: Telefunken CU-29 Tube Microphone (1945 Western Electric 6AK5 tube); Universal Audio LA-610 MKII Tube PreAmp & EQ / T4 Tube Opto Leveling Amplifier (all 1960's RCA 12AX7's / 7025's, Raytheon 12AT7's, General Electric 6BQ5 tubes); Aphex 204; Harman-Kardon TD-4400 Tape Deck (Dolby C); SONY ES-II Magnetic Tape; Steinberg / Rupert Neve A/D digital interface; Alesis ML-9600 Masterlink mastering unit.
My Semiquincentennial Declaration 2026
Me (Frank DeFreitas) with my Semiquincentennial Declaration of Independence edition. It is a combination of multiple versions, and the four main references to God are highlighted in red. It was created while isolated during the 2020 Covid-19 outbreak, and made for the 250th birthday of the founding of the United States of America ... coming up in 2026.
America is now preparing for its 250th Birthday.
Hello, my name is Frank DeFreitas, and I would like to welcome you to Wonders of the Bible.
With my wife being a Registered Nurse (RN) during the Covid-19 outbreak, and temporarily living separately in a second apartment for safety, I created a special 250th Anniversary, Semiquincentennial edition of the Declaration of Independence.
Now, this is not just ANY common copy of the Declaration. This one highlights the four main references to God.
Of course, this is 2020, and America's Semiquincentennial is not until the year 2026. And, after all, even *I* may not be here on Earth for 2026, but, if I am, I'm certainly ahead of the game.
I attended Philadelphia School of Printing and advertising, at 9th and Market Streets -- just down the street from all of the Declaration of Independence action.
There was Benjamin Franklin's print shop, Robert Aiken's print shop, and the house where Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft of the Declaration at 7th and Market. Not to mention Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, the Betsy Ross house, and the list goes on.
Every week day as a young adult in the 1970's, I would ride my Bicycle over the Benjamin Franklin bridge to attend printing school, where I learned all of the basics in prepress production, such as typography, layout, paste up, drum scanning, color editing and separation -- basically everything that is needed to get whatever is being printed ready for the people who run the printing presses.
Now retired after literally a lifetime with lasers and holography, I had an idea to take the original, and very badly faded, Declaration of 1776 -- the one that is on display in the National Archives Rotunda in Washington, D.C. -- and combine it with another, more recent 1823 copperplate engraving done by William Stone. An engraving that was done by request of John Quincy Adams.
What I would do would be to remove all that's left of the older, original declaration, leaving just a blank, old parchment. Then I would do an overlay of the newer Stone engraving on top. But I didn't want to stop there.
The idea that would make this version different would be to highlight and feature the four main reference to God:
1. Laws of Nature and of Nature's God 2. Created and Creator 3. Supreme Judge of the World 4. Divine Providence
These area would have to removed from the William Stone engraved print, and replaced with my own choice of typeface, and choice of color.
Everything would have to be registered, or aligned, precisely -- one of the many daily tasks I performed as a young adult making color separation proofs. Plus, it would have to look exactly like the Declaration of Independence after it was finished … in other words, it had to be recognizable to other people AS the Declaration of Independence. Because, as you may be aware, the Declaration of Independence does not actually say "Declaration of Independence" anywhere on it.
Now I am going to show you step by step with photos and their associated explanations.
Before I begin, I should state that this isn't entirely new. First, people have been doing the Declaration of Independence since it was first printed by John Dunlap as a broadside on the evening of July 4th, 1776.
In fact, the Declaration that is most recognizable by most people today -- the one with all 56 of the signatures -- was not printed at all … it was handwritten. And it wasn't signed on July 4th, it was signed on August 2nd.
Ever since then, there have been many printings of the Declaration, both plain and fancy.
Theodore William Ohman took an early photo of the Declaration -- a black and white photo from 1903, I believe -- and overlaid the Stone engraving. This was back in the 1940's -- and utilizing traditional film photography, prepress, and printing press methods of the day.
My effort is similar to Ohman's, with several additional steps. First, I used a very high resolution digital color file of the original Declaration of Independence. I had to digitally remove the references to God from the 1823 William Stone copper engraved print, and replaced them with a red Helvetica Bold typeface. This was all done in high resolution digital color, including the prepress and printing.
And, to be honest, I really don't know for certain that someone else didn't ALREADY create a Declaration of Independence that highlighted references to God. I couldn't find any, but it is a big world out there.
So, moving on, let's take it step by step. If you are listening to this podcast, and would like to see the step-by-step photos, just go to wondersofthebible.org and choose the podcast link. You'll find the Declaration of Independence link there.
Click or tap on that link, and you'll be on the web page that has all of the photos that I'm now going to describe.
If you're on the web page already, just follow along, and, if you'd like, click or tap on any photo to enlarge it for greater detail.
STEP #1 (above): This photo shows sections of the original 1776 Declaration on display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. This is available to anyone as a download at the Archives web site. Note how severely faded it is. Many people are surprised to learn that this is what the Declaration of Independence actually looks like today -- especially when they view it in person.
STEP #2: I then proceeded to remove or "bleach out" all previous handwriting, and I cleared the entire document -- leaving only the image of a blank parchment, still containing all of its age marks. It was now prepped for the placement of the 1823 William Stone engraving as an overlay.
STEP #3: I began to place the newly-enhanced references to God onto the blank image of the original parchment, exactly where they would have been had they not been removed. They are placed in Helvetica Bold type and indicated as red ink.
STEP #4: I then calculated and created empty spaces within the 1823 William Stone engraving, precisely at the places where references to God were made. The William Stone engraving is also on display at the National Archives, and is also a download from the National Archives web site.
STEP #5: was to overlay and register the 1823 William Stone engraving onto the original Declaration of Independence. With the red type indicating the places and phrases that reference God, everything fell right into place.
The document was saved as one unit, and sent to the printer, who then printed it out on a special 20 x 30 inch poster board. This poster also contains a Biblical reference of 2 Corinthians 3:17 under the image of the Declaration. And is states: "… And where the spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty".
This is all in preparation for the upcoming 250th birthday of the United States of America. This birthday will be known as the semiquincentennial -- and there are already plans being made for big celebrations across the nation.
Wonders of the Bible is developing a presentation and exhibit that will be launched (hopefully) this fall of 2020. It will not only show the history of the Bible leading up to the American colonies, but will showcase the history of the Bible during the time of the signing of the Declaration in 1776, through visual arts, science and communication technologies.
People will also see the world's smallest Declaration of Independence. So small, that it must be viewed through a laboratory microscope.
The presentation that goes along with the exhibit will be titled: "Christ, Creation, and the Declaration of Independence". This power point presentation will show, in their own letters, documents, and manuscripts, that the founding fathers were not only devout Christians, but that they were also Biblical creationists.
Hey, don't take MY word for it. I invite you to take THEIR OWN words for it. And, not just the founding fathers, but their wives as well. You'll see that their whole households were Christian Biblical creationists.
I'm not quite sure what I'm going to *DO* with my semiquincentennial Declaration of Independence. I may just keep one copy and exhibit it, but I may offer it to others, providing that there would be an interest in obtaining one.
If you think that YOU would be interested, let me know. I have the files and can have additional copies printed out. Including one that shows the step-by-step method of creating it.
You can send me an email at director at wondersofthebible dot org, or you can call me at (1) 484-387-5320.
Once again, my name is Frank DeFreitas, and may God Bless You Today and Every Day AND REMEMBER to always love others, just as Jesus Christ loves YOU.
"Science is the study of the physical manifestations of God in action."
-- Frank DeFreitas (Click Here for BIO)