Thomas Jefferson was chosen to write the first draft which was presented to the Congress on June 28, 1776. After various changes, a vote was taken late in the afternoon of July 4th. Of the 13 colonies, 9 voted in favor of the Declaration. Pennsylvania and South Carolina voted against, Delaware was undecided and New York abstained. John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress, signed the Declaration of Independence. On July 8, 1776, the Liberty Bell rang out from the tower of Independence Hall summoning citizens to hear the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence by Colonel John Nixon.