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New York Times Omits Declaration of Independence From July 4 Issue, Citing ‘Human Error’

This year would have marked the 100th anniversary of the practice, which began in 1922.
Published: July 6, 2022
The New York Times Building in New York City on February 1, 2022. In a major break from tradition the New York Times says it ‘forgot’ to print the Declaration of Independence on July 4th this year. It would have been the 100th anniversary of the tradition. (Image: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

The New York Times failed to print the Declaration of Independence in its print edition on Monday, July 4, in a major break from the longstanding tradition. This year would have marked the 100th anniversary of the practice.

“After disgruntled readers voiced concern, the paper printed it on July 5th,” Fox News reported. 

 A Times spokesperson blamed the omission on “human error.” 

The tradition came about in the late 19th century when in 1897 then owner, Adolph Ochs, ushered in the tradition of publishing the full text of the document which, at the time, the Times called the “original charter of the Nation.”

In 1922, the paper began printing “facsimile of the original document,” and every year following “devoted Times readers know that on July Fourth, they can flip over the A section of the paper and see a reprint of the Declaration on the last page,” Politico reported. 

However, for the first time since 1922, the Declaration was nowhere to be found this Independence Day.

According to Politico, one loyal reader of the Times was reportedly so dismayed with the omission that he started “messaging his ex-colleagues on the Fourth and was told in response to similar complaints by reporters and readers, the paper had decided by the end of the holiday to print the Declaration on Tuesday,” the day after the Fourth of July celebrations.

Many are suggesting that the Times made an ideological decision to forgo the tradition and instead, according to Politico, ran a piece that “examined what equality means and has meant in this document,” however the Times insists that they simply “forgot.”

News of the omission quickly spread through Twitter, with many expressing the opinion that the Times did not simply “forget.”

Jerry Dunleavy told his over 104,000 followers on Twitter, “The New York Times claims that this year it simply forgot about its more than a century old tradition of publishing the full text of the Declaration of Independence each July 4th,” to which people replied, “*forgot*,” and “They did it on purpose for the extra press coverage of not doing it.”

The omission caught the attention of Anthony Scaramucci who called out the Times on Twitter, tweeting to his over one million followers on July 4, “.@nytimes where is the Declaration of Independence this year?”

According to Politico, Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades Ha said, “We have a longstanding tradition of printing the Declaration of Independence in the July 4th print edition. Due to 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.”