About the National Archives

Welcome Remarks for July 4th Virtual Celebration

July 4, 2020

Greetings from the National Archives Building in Washington, DC!  I am David Ferriero, 10th Archivist of the United States and head of the National Archives and Records Administration.

4th of July is a special occasion here at the National Archives. We are the home to the original 1776 Declaration of Independence. We like to say that “July 4th starts here.” And for the past 50 years, we have had a ceremony here in this building to honor the Declaration of Independence. But this year is different. Because of Covid 19, we had to find a new way to celebrate so we are doing our first virtual Declaration of Independence reading ceremony. You will see highlights of past 4th of July celebrations at the National Archives during this program.

Even though we can’t be together this year, we can focus on the future. In 2026 (six short years from now), we will be celebrating America’s 250th! Two hundred and fifty years since our Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, jeopardizing their lives, committing treason, and risking everything for American Independence. We have the Signers to thank for the freedoms we enjoy today. Even though this year’s celebration will not look like our usual 4th of July festivities, we can look forward to marking the 250th anniversary of the United States as a healthier, stronger, and more perfect Union.

And thanks to all of you for joining our virtual ceremony. I hope to see you in person at the National Archives in the near future. Have a safe, healthy, and enjoyable Independence Day.