A local connoisseur of history will share a historic document with fellow Bexley residents July 4.

A local connoisseur of history will share a historic document with fellow Bexley residents July 4.

After the city's Fourth of July parade, Ben Heckman will stand on the balcony of his home at 622 Euclaire Ave. and read the Declaration of Independence over a loud speaker. He'll also be dressed in period costume.

"I'll likely resemble Benjamin Franklin," Heckman said.

While on his honeymoon with his wife, Becky, in May, Heckman learned communities used to have someone publicly read the Declaration of Independence every July 4.

"We went on the great American history tour: Woodrow Wilson's birthplace, the homes of the Roosevelts, John Quincy Adams and Thomas Paine's house," Heckman said.

The declaration is still read every July 4 in Philadelphia and Boston, Heckman said.

"Communities around the country read it every year, but some time in the 1970s, they stopped," he said.

Anne Lewis of the Bexley Celebrations Association announced Heckman's upcoming reading at a press conference June 13.

"He called me about the reading and I thought it was such a great idea that we wanted to include it in our announcements," she said.

Heckman said it will be his first public performance of the Declaration of Independence. However, he once dressed in period costume while teaching a history class. Heckman is a 2003 graduate of Capital University with a degree in education.

Of his reason for restarting a faded July 4 tradition, Heckman said, "I love the barbecues and fireworks and being with friends and family, but we should take a minute to remember where our freedoms came from and the luxury that we have to enjoy them today."