History lesson: Pa. and N.Y. to share a copy of the Bill of Rights

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In a historic partnership that displays the wisdom of Solomon, Pennsylvania and New York have agreed to joint custody of an original copy of the Bill of Rights, a document whose heritage is the subject of scholarly debate.

The 100-year agreement will allow the document to be publicly displayed for the first time in decades, starting with a three-year exhibition at Philadelphia's National Constitution Center beginning in fall 2014.

The document has been at the New York Public Library since 1896, when it was acquired through a donation, but the question of where it came from remains unsettled. In a news release, Gov. Tom Corbett's office noted that each of the 13 states and the federal government received a handwritten copy of the Bill of Rights in 1789, and 12 copies are known to have survived. New York's is believed to have been destroyed in a fire, and Maryland, Georgia and Pennsylvania lost their documents.

This milestone between two states means citizens soon will be able to view firsthand a priceless piece of our shared history.



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