Trivia: Act Three (the arrival of Dr. Hall - "But, Mr. Adams") holds the record for the longest period of time in a musical with no music; almost forty-five minutes pass between "The Lees of Old Virginia" and "But, Mr. Adams."

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Trivia: During the filming of "Piddle, Twiddle, and Resolve", William Daniels sucked on ice cubes, as not to give away the fact that the night was freezing cold, rather than a warm Philadelphia evening.

Trivia: When Adams and Franklin are arguing about whether to remove the slavery clause from the Declaration, Adams' line about never being forgiven by posterity is actually part of a quote by his cousin Sam. The entire line is "If we give in on this issue, there will be trouble a hundred years' hence. Posterity will never forgive us." The part about trouble in a hundred years was deleted because Sherman Edwards and Peter Stone were afraid audiences would think, with the power of hindsight, that they made the line up, instead of it being from an actual historical quote; the prediction Sam Adams made missed the Civil War by just 15 years.

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Trivia: The musical number "Cool Considerate Men" was removed from the theatrical release at president Richard Nixon's request. Nixon was given a private screening, and reportedly objected to the song. It has been edited back into the Director's Cut DVD.

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Trivia: This was the only movie Donald Madden made that was released into theaters.

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Trivia: The shuttleboard in the Congressional chamber did not actually exist in 1776. This was added specifically for the film, to give the audience a visual representation of the colonies' votes.

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Trivia: Ron Holgate did all of his own horseback riding, with the exception of the trick mount at the end of "The Lees of Old Virginia;" prior to this film, Holgate had never ridden a horse.

Trivia: Thomas Jefferson's wife, Martha, died ten years after their marriage - a full nineteen years before Jefferson occupied the White House; the Martha Jefferson listed as First Lady was the pair's daughter.

Trivia: The fountain in the scene "The Lees of Old Virginia" is the same fountain from the opening credits of the TV series "Friends"

Trivia: In one of the biggest coincidences in American history, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. This fact was never included in the play, because Sherman Edwards and Peter Stone both knew that no one would believe it.

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Factual error: The Liberty Bell is depicted ringing as the Declaration of Independence is being signed on July 4 (a mistake itself) in the film. The bell actually did not ring on that date, but on July 8, when the Declaration had been returned from the printer and unveiled to the public.


More mistakes in 1776

Benjamin Franklin: Revolutions come into this world like bastard children, Mr. Dickinson; half improvised and half compromised.

More quotes from 1776

Question: During "Cool, Considerate Men," what does John Hancock mean by "British half-crown" when he says, ". . . traitors to what? The British crown, or the British half-crown"?

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Chosen answer: By "the British Crown" he meant the king. By "the British half Crown" he was just referring to the money in use by the British at the time.


Exactly contrasting loyalty to the country with loyalty to profit.

More questions & answers from 1776

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