2016 Press Releases

Celebrate July 4th at the National Archives in DC and Across the Nation
Press Release · Monday, June 6, 2016

Washington, DC

Washington, DC…The National Archives celebrates the 240th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence with special events in Washington, DC, and at Presidential Libraries nationwide.

Celebrate July 4th at the National Archives in Washington, DC

WHAT: The National Archives in Washington, DC, will celebrate the 240th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence with its traditional Fourth of July program. Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero will make remarks. See additional information about the program. The free celebration will include patriotic music, a dramatic reading of the Declaration by historical reenactors, and family activities and entertainment for all ages.

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

WHEN: Monday, July 4, 2016, 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.

WHERE: Constitution Avenue steps, National Archives Building
Between 7th and 9th Streets, NW, Washington, DC
A riser will be reserved for the press

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

Win a trip to DC for July 4th: It’s not too late to enter the giveaway to win a free trip for a family of four to DC sponsored by the National Archives Foundation. Entries will be accepted through June 10.

In-kind support for the “Win a Trip to DC” giveaway provided in part by American Heritage® Chocolate, Southwest Airlines, and Derek Brown.

PROGRAM INFORMATION: July 4th at the National Archives in Washington, DC

This family event is free and open to the public. Seating on the Constitution Avenue steps is available on a first-come, first-seated basis. Watch live on the National Archives YouTube channel. Sign up for a reminder to watch online.

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

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

Live Musical Performances by Brass Connection
9 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

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

  • Greetings from Allison Seymour, Fox 5 News Anchor
  • Presentation of colors by the Continental Color Guard*
  • National Anthem led by Caleb Green
  • 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 reenactors portraying historical characters, including Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Ned Hector

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

Live Musical Performances by Brass Connection
11 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

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

Family Activities
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Inside the National Archives Museum, Boeing Learning Center
Participate in hands-on family activities:

  • Collect autographs
  • Make cockades
  • Listen to stories of our patriotic past
  • Make colonial-style wigs and dress in period clothing
  • Sign the Declaration of Independence
  • Write with a quill pen
  • Set your name in type
  • Taste American Heritage® Chocolate in the Visitor Orientation Plaza
  • Meet Revolutionary figures Abigail and John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Ned Hector, John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington between noon and 4 p.m.

Celebrate July 4th at the National Archives Presidential Libraries

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, West Branch, IA
An Eastern Iowa Brass Band Concert will feature a museum docent dressed as Samuel Adams reading the Declaration of Independence. This event is at 2 p.m. in the Village Green.

Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, Hyde Park, NY
The Library will host a Family Fun Day on July 2 to continue our 75th anniversary celebrations and honor our nation’s 240th birthday. Activities will include a hot air balloon ride, circus acts, a swing band and dance floor, a wide variety of local food trucks and a special “Royal Hot Dog Stand” to honor the famous picnic in Hyde Park hosted by the President for King George VI and Queen Mary. There will be a wide range of performances and activities for the entire family. Members of the 240th MP Regiment will also be on hand in period uniforms to discuss the wartime security of the President.

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, Simi Valley, CA
To celebrate our Nation’s 240th birthday, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library is hosting a day full of family-fun activities. This year’s celebration includes patriotic concerts, family entertainment, games, crafts, and more. The Los Angeles Police Department Concert Band will perform at 1 p.m. in our Courtyard. Reenactors will talk about the lives of Thomas Jefferson, Ulysses S. Grant, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Betsy Ross. All outdoor activities are free and run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The admission rates apply to view the Ronald Reagan Presidential Museum and the Air Force One Pavilion, which will be open until 5 p.m.

George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, College Station, TX
The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum is honored to host the College Station Noon Lions Clubs "I Love America" Fourth of July Celebration. The Museum will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. with free admission all day. Concessions start at 5:30 p.m and include Slovacek’s sausage on a stick, kettle corn, roasted nuts, popcorn, snow cones, refreshments. There will also be free watermelon while supplies last. Live entertainment and the Kids Zone will open at 6 p.m. The Kids Zone includes games and bounce houses, face painting and Paw Paw’s Train. The evening will culminate with a spectacular fireworks display and concert by the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra.

Sign Your Name to the Declaration of Independence Online or in Person!

Sign your name to the Declaration of Independence online at ArchivesJuly4.org/sign, and share it with us on social media with #ArchivesJuly4! If you attend the celebration in DC, look for the booth at the corner of Constitution Avenue and Seventh Street, and add your John Hancock to the list. The booth will be moved inside to the Boeing Learning Lab at 11 a.m.

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

Join the conversation with #ArchivesJuly4

Visitors near the National Archives in DC can use a special Snapchat filter to celebrate the Fourth of July.

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