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1776 (play)

1776 is the title of a Broadway musical and the 1972 film of it. Peter Stone wrote its book and Sherman Edwards its music and lyrics. Peter H. Hunt directed the movie, which starred William Daniels as John Adams, Ken Howard as Thomas Jefferson, and Howard Da Silva as Benjamin Franklin.

Although it tells the story of what happened at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1776 leading up to the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence, and it accurately portrays the serious personal and political issues at stake -- usually in the characters' own words, written by them at the time -- it remains a musical comedy. The play has often been criticized for straining too hard for historical accuracy instead of exercising literary license when that would help the plot or presentation along, but its writers chose to stick to the facts of what actually happened back then, as far as they are known today.