National Archives Hosts Fourth of July Celebration
Press Release · Wednesday, May 5, 1999

Washington, DC

WHAT: The National Archives will celebrate the 223nd anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence with its traditional Fourth of July program. The program includes patriotic music, a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence, and a demonstration of colonial military maneuvers.

WHEN: Sunday, July 4, 1999, 10 A.M.

WHERE: Constitution Avenue steps, National Archives Building Between 7th and 9th Streets, NW, Washington, DC. Space will be reserved for the electronic media

This popular family event is free and open to the public. Seating on the steps is available on a first-come, first-seated basis. Highlights of the program are:

  • Betsy Ross, Abigail Adams, Patrick Henry, and George Washington, "Time Travelers" from the nationally acclaimed acting troupe of the American Historical Theatre, will mingle with the crowd and describe their roles in American History.
  • Dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence on the Constitution Avenue steps.
  • Performance by the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry (The Old Guard) Fife and Drum Corps.
  • Representing the Continental Line will be Colonial units from Maryland and Virginia. The Crown forces will be represented by Highland units.

In the Rotunda of the National Archives Building, the original, signed Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights will be flanked by a joint honor guard representing the military services. The impressive changing of the guard ceremony will take place in the Rotunda every 30 minutes from 10 A.M. to 9 P.M.

Also on display are two exhibitions, "American Originals: Part IV" and "Picturing the Century: One Hundred Years of Photography from the National Archives." "American Originals" presents a selection of the National Archives' most compelling and historically significant documents. It is on display in the Rotunda through December 1999. "Picturing the Century" is a unique photographic exhibition chronicling the major events of the last 100 years selected from the National Archives' priceless collection of over 8 million photographs. Through July 4, 2001, in the Circular Gallery.

For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail. Visit the National Archives Home Page on the World Wide Web at


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