Press Release
Press Release · Wednesday, July 2, 2003

Press Release
July 2, 2003


WHO: cleargif Jane Alexander will join the National Archives at Union Station on July 4, 2003 to celebrate the 227th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. She will read the Declaration of Independence at the Nation Archives’ traditional ceremony. Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts from 1993-1997, and four-time Oscar nominee for the films Testament, Kramer vs. Kramer, All The President's Men and The Great White Hope, she has also appeared in more than 45 screen roles, among them Brubaker, City Heat and The Cider House Rules. She is the author of Command Performance: An Actress in the Theater of Politics. Jane Alexander is currently making her debut at The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC, as Helen Alving in Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts.
WHAT: cleargif Official Reading Ceremony honoring the 227th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Featuring a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence by actress Jane Alexander accompanied by “Time Travelers” John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and a colonial soldier; Presentation of Colors by the Armed Forces Color Guard; musical performances by the U.S. Air Force String Quartet, and Tim Augustin, tenor, Washington Opera; special performance by the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry “Old Guard” Fife and Drum Corps; with remarks from John W. Carlin, Archivist of the United States.
WHEN:   Friday, July 4, 2003, Free family activities will take place throughout the day beginning at 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Official Reading Ceremony: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
WHERE: cleargif Main Hall Stage
Union Station
50 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.

This popular family event is free and open to the public. Highlights of the program are:

  • Dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence featuring actress Jane Alexander.
  • Special showing of the Dunlap Broadside printed by Philadelphia printer John Dunlap on the night of July 4, 1776.
  • Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, and other historical figures portrayed by “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.
  • National Archives specialists will demonstrate how to do genealogy research at the National Archives.
  • The Capital Children’s Museum will join the National Archives in various children’s activities.
  • History book fair and book signings for young and old alike.
  • Patent puzzles. View popular patents that are among the holdings of the National Archives.
  • National Archives conservators will host informal workshops on preservation of important family records and photographs.
  • National History Day participants from across the country will present winning exhibits, performances, documentaries, and papers from their national contest in June.

When the National Archives in Washington, DC reopens its Rotunda on September 18, 2003, it will not only unveil the newly re-encased Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights, but the start of a whole new National Archives Experience that will educate and inspire Americans. The National Archives Experience will help visitors, both in person and online, to discover and share in the spirit embodied in documents as diverse as the Emancipation Proclamation, Edison’s patent application for the light bulb, census data, and recordings of Franklin Roosevelt’s Fireside Chats.

The National Archives Experience will continue to unveil new components through 2004.

For more information about the National Archives Experience, visit the National Archives online at


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