National Archives Hosts Fourth of July Celebration
Press Release · Wednesday, May 17, 2006

WHAT: The National Archives will celebrate the 230th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence with its traditional Fourth of July program. The theme of this year’s annual program is "July Fourth: An American Original."

The celebration will include patriotic music, a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence by Operation Iraqi Freedom wounded veterans from Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and exciting free family activities and entertainment for all ages.

WHEN: Tuesday, July 4, 2006, Ceremony: 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Family activities: 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

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

"July Fourth: An American Original" at the National Archives is made possible in part by the generous support of John Hancock Financial Services.

Program Information:

"July Fourth: An American Original"

This popular family event is free and open to the public. Seating on the Constitution Avenue steps is available on a first-come, first-seated basis. Highlights of the morning ceremony and family activities that will be held throughout the day include:

Ceremony 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

  • Presentation of Colors by the Continental Color Guard
  • Performance by the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry (The Old Guard) Fife and Drum Corps
  • Video Presentation – "Declaring Our Freedom"
  • Dramatic Reading of the Declaration of Independence by special guests: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Ned Hector, Town Crier William Joseph, and two Operation Iraqi Freedom wounded veterans from Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Family activities throughout the National Archives Experience
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

  • Sign the Declaration of Independence
    See what it is like to be a part of history by signing a giant copy of the Declaration of Independence, then go see the original in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom!
  • Wagons West!
    Decorate your very own covered wagon, just like what Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family used to cross the prairie. Make sure to stock it with all the supplies you would need on your journey!
  • Stake Your Claim
    Did you know that the pioneers could get land to build their homes on just by filling out a form for the government? Fill out a copy of the Homestead Act just like a pioneer would have, and then mark your homestead on the map!
  • Draw Your Dream of America
    What is your favorite thing about America? Is it your school? Is it the park near your house? Could it be the Grand Canyon or the Statue of Liberty? Maybe it is all of those things! Draw a picture showing what you love most about America.
  • National Archives Experience Temporary Tattoos
    Show off where you spent America's 230th birthday with a temporary National Archives Experience tattoo!

"American Conversation"
2:30 p.m.

CANCELLED due to building closure
  • American Conversation with Thomas Jefferson
    Archivist of the United States, Allen Weinstein will have an American Conversation with the 3rd President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. William G. McGowan Theater

The National Archives Building is fully accessible. If you need to request an accommodation (e.g., sign language interpreter) for a public program please e-mail or call 202-357-5000 at least two weeks prior to the event to ensure proper arrangements are secured. Please note: there will be a sign language interpreter for the ceremony.

Visit for updated information on all National Archives public programs.

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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (202) 357-5300.


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