2014 Press Releases

Celebrate Independence Day at the National Archives
Press Release · Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Washington, DC

Home of the Declaration of Independence Hosts Traditional Patriotic Ceremony

More Information


The National Archives will celebrate the 238th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence with its traditional Fourth of July program. C-SPAN host Steve Scully will return to serve as emcee for the third year, and Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero will make remarks.

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

Watch a video promo for this year’s ceremony:

"July 4th at the National Archives" is presented in partnership with the Foundation for the National Archives, Lead Sponsor John Hancock Financial, and Dykema.


Friday, July 4, 2014, Ceremony: 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Family activities: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Exhibits (including the original Declaration of Independence): 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.


Constitution Avenue steps, National Archives Building
Between 7th and 9th Streets, NW, Washington, D.C.
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.

Program Information:

July 4th at the National Archives

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.

Sign the Declaration of Independence
8 – 9:30 a.m.

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

Declaration of Independence Reading Ceremony
10 – 11 a.m.

  • Ceremony emcee, C-SPAN host Steve Scully.
  • Presentation of colors by the Continental Color Guard.*
  • Performance of “America the Beautiful” by four-time international whistling champion Christopher Ullman.
  • National Anthem led by the United States Navy Band Anthem Vocalist.
  • Performance by the Fife and Drum Corps.*
  • Remarks by Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero.
  • Dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence by special guests including Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Ned Hector (portrayed by historical reenactors).

* Continental Color Guard and Fife and Drum Corps provided by U.S. 3rd Infantry, the Old Guard.

Note: Visitors have the option to view the ceremony from the air-conditioned comfort of the William G. McGowan Theater. Make advance reservations by emailing specialevents@nara.gov.

Stay and enjoy front row seats for the National Independence Day Parade following the ceremony at 11:45 a.m.

Family Activities
11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Inside the National Archives Museum, Boeing Learning Center

  • Participate in a variety of hands-on family activities including crafts and storytime.
  • Taste American Heritage Chocolate in the Visitor Orientation Plaza.
  • Between noon and 2 p.m., meet Abigail and John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington.

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

Connect with Us on:
Twitter: @USNatArchives (Follow the conversation #ArchivesJuly4)
Like us on Facebook: USNationalArchives and see photos of the event.


This page was last reviewed on November 27, 2018.
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