The Capitol Rotunda and the Declaration of Independence

The dome of the United States Capitol in Washington, DC stands as a symbol of the American nation and the meeting place of the US Congress. The Capitol rotunda dome contains four mural-size paintings.

One is a well-known painting depicting the signing of the first draft of the Declaration of Independence, presented to Congress in 1776. The five writers standing are: John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men . . . are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights . . .” The Founders were influenced by Enlightenment era ideas and the Bible’s teaching on equality. Adams and Jefferson particularly admired Jesus’s teachings on morality.

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