April 17, 2001
Join In the July 4th Fun at the National Archives
Washington, DC. . . To mark the 225th anniversary of the adoption of Declaration of Independence the National Archives is planning a day-long free family celebration on Wednesday, July 4th, on the steps of the National Archives Building, Constitution Avenue, between 7th and 9th Streets, NW. Sign the Declaration of Independence, talk to George and Martha Washington, listen to the Declaration being read by celebrities, hear patriotic music, see movie clips, and witness the original Charters of Freedom (the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights) being raised and lowered into their vault for the final time. July 4th is the last day that the Charters of Freedom will be on public display, before the National Archives Rotunda closes temporarily for renovation. The Rotunda will reopen in 2003.
The day's events are as follows:
- 9 A.M.- Constitution Avenue steps of the National Archives Building. Witness the historic final raising of the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights from the concrete and steel vault to the marble display case on a closed circuit video wall. (This will be the last time that the documents will be displayed in their current encasements.)
- 9 A.M.-10 A.M.- Constitution Avenue steps of the National Archives Building. Chat with George and Martha Washington, John and Abigail Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and John Hancock, members of the American Historical Theatre troupe known as the Time Travelers, and add your name next to those of the Founding Fathers on facsimiles of the Declaration of Independence.
- 10 A.M.- 11:30 A.M. Constitution Avenue steps of the National Archives Building. Traditional program, including the Presentation of the Colors by the Joint Services Color Guard and traditional patriotic American music by the 3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard) Fife and Drum Corps, followed by a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence by celebrity readers. The ceremony will conclude with a concert of American music.
- 10 A.M. - 6 P.M.-The original Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights will be on display in the National Archives Rotunda. The documents will be flanked by a joint military honor guard. The changing of the guard ceremony will take place every 30 minutes from 10 A.M. to 6 P.M. (NOTE: The early closing time of the National Archives Rotunda.)
Throughout the day, visitors will be able to sign facsimiles of the Declaration of Independence which will be deposited in the National Archives for safekeeping and can see films from the National Archives' motion picture holdings, as well as other offerings on a large video wall.
For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail.