In today’s Philippine Daily Inquirer’s “Looking Back” column of historian Ambeth Ocampo, he disabuses us of certain notions we have about the June 12, 1898 Declaration of Independence. Among others, it was written and read by Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista, and not delivered by Emilio Aguinaldo as depicted in the now-demonetized five-peso bill. It was read from a window of Aguinaldo’s mansion, not from a balcony, which was in fact a much later addition to the house. The 98 men who signed the declaration (this number is disputed, though, by other scholars) included an American, a Mr. L. M. Johnson, described as a “Colonel of Artillery, Imperial Chinese Army, who had apparently offered his services to the revolutionary government. His real identity remains mysterious to this day. Could he have been the Colonel who founded Kentucky Fried Chicken? No – Harland David Sanders, who was conferred an honorary title of “Colonel” by the state of Kentucky, was only 8 years old at the time. He would begin selling his patented fried chicken only in the 1930s.
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