In a series of dozens of tweets, the broadcaster recited verbatim the document as provided by the National Archives 241 years after its signing.
It goes without saying that the Declaration, reflective of decades of tension between the colonies and England, presents a message that is quite literally revolutionary. Some readers, however, failed to see the historical context surrounding the stunt and labeled NPR's tweets as "propaganda" and telling the outlet to "stop."
241 years ago today, church bells rang out over Philadelphia as the Declaration of Independence was adopted https://t.co/PAcHgLqOUE— NPR (@NPR) July 4, 2017
"So, NPR is calling for revolution. Interesting way to condone the violence while trying to sound 'patriotic.' Your implications are clear," wrote one user.
NPR did preface its patriotic tweetstorm with a message that it would be reciting the Declaration and a link back to a story about the tradition of reading the document aloud each Independence Day.
Many users were quick to draw parallels between the Founding Fathers' grievances against the King of Great Britain and the progressive movement's contentious relationship with President Trump.
"Looks like someone tried to MAGA before 1776," quipped one user.
Looks like someone tried to MAGA before 1776 😂— Uday Sripathi (@UdaySripathi) July 5, 2017
After the brouhaha, NPR spokeswoman Allyssa Pollard told the Associated Press the tweets were shared by thousands of people and generated "a lively conversation."
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