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The other Declaration of Independence

July 4th, 1776 is arguably the most important date in American history. That's when citizens of the colonies declared total independence from Great Britain for the very first time. But what if it wasn’t the first? This week, we travel down the rabbit hole of North Carolina’s Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence and entertain a couple of shocking possibilities: either someone’s lying — or we may need to rethink everything we know about American independence.


  • Dave Fleming, author of  “Who's Your Founding Father?: One Man’s Epic Quest to Uncover the First, True Declaration of Independence”
  • Jim Ambuske, historian and co-head of R2 Studios at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University.


  • You can find a transcript of the episode here.
Jerad Walker is WUNC’s editor of narrative audio and podcasts. He joined the station in 2022 after nearly a decade at Oregon Public Broadcasting.
Charlie Shelton-Ormond is a podcast producer for WUNC.
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