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The Mail


To the Editors of the Crimson:

What would you write if you sat down to be the Thomas Jefferson of 1976?

Enough response has been shown in the proposal to draft, sign, and display The Declaration of 1976, to place it before the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission for staff study and a plan for possible implementation. This commission was created by Congress in 1966 (Public Law 89-49) to plan and coordinate events marking our 200th anniversary.

Two of the eight Congressional Members appointed to the commission are from Massachusetts. They are Senator Edward W. Brooke and Congressman Harold D. Donohue.

The more people that get involved now with what the new Declaration says, the better chance it has of becoming a truly meaningful--perhaps even revolutionary--document.

In his late years Jefferson said The Declaration of Independence was intended to be "an expression of the American mind." He said no books or pamphlets were turned to in writing it, and that he did not feel it a part of his charge to invent new ideas entirely, or to say anything new that had not been said before.

Yet, Abraham Lincoln said Jefferson had "the coolness, forecast, and capacity to introduce into a merely revolutionary document, an abstract truth, applicable to all men and all times."

Our times make it imperative that we try to re-express the American mind, even though "our" abstract truth may apply to areas of present day concern that were scarcely conceivable as potential problems in Jefferson's day.

Again, what would you write if you sat down to be the Thomas Jefferson of 1976?

You and your readers are urged to send ideas on what The Declaration of 1976 should say, to Senator Brooke, Congressman Donohue, or to Mr. Jack LeVant, Director, American Revolution Bicentennial Commission, Box 1976, Washington, D.C. 20276. Mare Askew

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