November 20, 1997 12:00 AM

TV producer Norman Lear (“All in the Family”) and Internet entrepreneur David Hayden on Thursday night plunked down $7.4 million for a copy of the Declaration of Independence that had been discovered behind a $4 flea-market painting in 1989. (With commission, the total price is $8.14 million.) The sale took place over the Sotheby’s auction house Web site and sets a record for the price of the 1776 document (of which only a few copies survive). Lear told The New York Times that he and Hayden intend to circulate their purchase around the country in connection with some type of upcoming “theatrical event that will be unabashedly patriotic.”

  • As for the rest of us, we’re going to celebrate our independence by taking off Monday and Tuesday. Look for the return of the Daily on Wednesday. Happy 4th.

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