On every Fourth of July, the News & Observer publishes the Bill of Rights on its editorial page. Usually, a letter to the editor follows a few days later, asking why the paper would publish that document and not the Declaration of Independence.
It's a reasonable question. The declaration, not the Constitution, is the "reason for the season." It would make more sense to publish the Bill of Rights on Dec. 15, its date in history.
As one of the best breakup letters of world history, the declaration makes for a great read. The checklist of complaints against the king is especially interesting in its detail. That section is introduced this way: "Let Facts be submitted to a candid world."
On this day, I encourage you to read the full text of the Declaration of Independence. Or listen to a reading and learn more at NPR's site.
Either way, enjoy the declaration's language, structure and message, and have a safe and happy Fourth of July.