About the National Archives

Welcome Remarks Independence Day Celebration

Greetings from the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, which sits on the ancestral lands of the Nacotchtank peoples.!  I am David Ferriero, 10th Archivist of the United States and head of the National Archives and Records Administration.

July 4th is a special occasion 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 over 50 years, we have had a ceremony in this building to honor the Declaration of Independence. And we hope to celebrate here again soon. But today we will have a virtual Declaration of Independence reading ceremony. In this program, you will see highlights of past 4th of July celebrations here at the National Archives.

Even though we can’t be together this year, we can focus on the future. In 2026 (five 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.

Before we start, I would like to thank all of you for joining our virtual ceremony. I hope to see you in person at the National Archives Building very soon. Have a safe, healthy, and enjoyable Independence Day.