The National Archives Celebrates the Fourth of July with Patriotic Program
Press Release · Thursday, June 7, 2012


Washington, DC…The National Archives will celebrate the 236th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence with its traditional Fourth of July program. C-SPAN host Steve Scully will serve as emcee; Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero and Chair and President of the Foundation for the National Archives, A'Lelia Bundles, will make remarks. Four descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence will read parts of the historic document.

The celebration will include patriotic music, a dramatic reading of the Declaration by historical reenactors and descendants of the Signers, and exciting free family activities and entertainment for all ages.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012, Ceremony: 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Family activities: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Exhibits (including the original Declaration of Independence): 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.


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

The National Archives Building is fully accessible.  There will be a sign-language interpreter for the ceremony.

July 4th at the National Archives is made possible in part by the generous support of John Hancock Financial and Dykema.

Program Information

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.

Discovering the National Archives
8:30–9:30 a.m.

  • Sign a facsimile of the Declaration of Independence on 7th Street and Constitution Avenue.

10 a.m.–11 a.m.

  • Ceremony emcee, C-SPAN host Steve Scully.
  • Presentation of Colors by the Continental Color Guard.
  • Performance by the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry “The Old Guard” Fife and Drum Corps.
  • Remarks by Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero.
  • Keynote address by Chair and President of the Foundation for the National Archives, A'Lelia Bundles.
  • The singing of the National Anthem and America the Beautiful by soprano Olivia Vote.
  • Dramatic Reading of the Declaration of Independence by special guests:
    • Jon Belman and Laura Belman (both are descended from three Signers: Samuel Chase of Maryland, William Ellery of Rhode Island, and Oliver Wolcott of Connecticut);
    • Michael Miller (descended from Signer Col. William Williams of Connecticut); and
    • Laura Murphy (descended from Philip Livingston of New York); and
    • historical reenactors portraying Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Ned Hector.

Family Activities
11 a.m.–2 p.m.
Inside the National Archives Experience

  • Meet Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Abigail Adams, and other historical figures.
  • Participate in a variety of hands-on activities.
  • Sign a full-size facsimile of the Declaration of Independence.
  • Listen to stories of our patriotic past in the Boeing Learning Center. 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 1:30 p.m.

For information on all National Archives public programs, visit, or call (202) 357-5000.

# # #

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

Connect with Us on:
Facebook:   USNationalArchives


This page was last reviewed on January 7, 2013.
Contact us with questions or comments.