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July 4th Celebration

National Archives Building
Washington, DC

Thursday, July 4, 2019 - 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT

View on YouTube

Find out about all the events leading up to Independence Day on our July 4 Celebration page.

July 4th at the National Archives


8–9:30 a.m.

Special July 4 FREE T-shirt Giveaway
First 1,000 guests to join us for the Reading Ceremony will receive a special July 4th Celebration T-shirt.

8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

Patriotic Shopping at the National Archives Tent Store on Constitution Avenue

9–9:45 a.m.

The Experience Band & Show (previously known as Brass Connection) on the Constitution Avenue steps

10–11 a.m.

Declaration of Independence Reading Ceremony
Constitution Avenue steps and on US National Archives YouTube Channel and Facebook Live
(To request indoor seating in the William G. McGowan Theater, email

  • Greetings: Allison Seymour, Fox 5 News Anchor
  • Presentation of colors by the 3rd U.S. Infantry Continental Color Guard
  • National Anthem sung by Crystal Mosser
  • Performance by the 3rd U.S. Infantry "The Old Guard" Fife and Drum Corps
  • Remarks: David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States
  • Keynote speech: Cokie Roberts, journalist and author
  • Dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence by costumed interpreters portraying historical characters Abigail Adams, John Adams, John Dunlap, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, Ned Hector, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington 
  • "America the Beautiful" sung by Caleb Green

11 a.m.–11:45 a.m.

Musical performance by The Experience Band & Show on the Constitution Avenue steps

11:45 a.m.

Watch the National Independence Day Parade go by outside the National Archives.

Noon-4 p.m.

Inside the National Archives Building (Boeing Learning Center)

Celebrate like it it's 1776! Enjoy  family activities, story time, crafts and more! Meet John and Abigail Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, Ned Hector, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington.

  • Collect autographs
  • Celebrate Sovereignty
  • "Declaring Independence" scavenger hunt
  • Listen to stories of our patriotic past (noon, 12:30 p.m., 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3 p.m., 3:30 p.m.)
  • Make colonial-style wigs and dress in period clothing
  • Sign the Declaration of Independence
  • Write with a quill pen
  • Set your name in type
  • And a whole lot more!

July 4th at the National Archives is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation with the generous support of John Hancock, Dykema, and Hearst Foundations.


All events listed in the calendar are free unless noted.