Attorneys across West Texas took a crowd at the courthouse back in history for a short time Wednesday morning. 

They read the Declaration of Independence line by line to honor its significance. The Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association has been organizing these for years in 140 communities.  

It claims there's no other similar ceremony in the nation. The attorneys say it shows how word of mouth spread one of the country's most important messages. 

"Broad size, big pieces of parchment were brought to places like this: city halls, town halls, town squares, court houses. And the Declaration was read just as we have read it today," defense attorney Chuck Lanehart said.

The Declaration of Independence was made public 243 years ago on July 4. The Constitution would set up the U.S. government over the next decade and the Bill of Rights would protect Americans from the tyrannies laid out in the Declaration. 

The Declaration of Independence would next serve as a blueprint for the Declaration of the Rights of Man in France in 1789.