Press/Journalists

Celebrate July 4th at the National Archives in DC and Across the Nation
Press Release · Thursday, June 1, 2017

Washington, DC

The National Archives celebrates the 241st 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 241st anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence with its traditional Fourth of July program. Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero and Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Leader Laura W. Murphy will offer remarks. Murphy is a descendant of Declaration signer Philip Livingston of New York. The free celebration will include patriotic music, a dramatic reading of the Declaration by historical reenactors, and family activities and entertainment for all ages. See more information.

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

In-kind support provided in part by American Heritage® Chocolate and KIND Snacks.

WHEN: Tuesday, July 4, 2017
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.–7 p.m. (last admission is 30 minutes prior to closing)

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

Note: the 10 a.m. ceremony will be livestreamed on the National Archives YouTube channel and on the US National Archives Facebook page.

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 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.

Special July 4th Celebration FREE T-Shirt Giveaway
8 a.m.–9:30 a.m.  
First 1,000 guests to join us for the Reading Ceremony will receive a special July 4th Celebration T-shirt.

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 by master of ceremonies 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 David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States
  • Keynote remarks by Laura W. Murphy, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Leader and descendant of Declaration signer Philip Livingston of New York
  • Dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence by reenactors portraying historical characters, including Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Abigail Adams, John Dunlap, John Hancock, and Ned Hector
  • “America the Beautiful” by Caleb Green

* 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
  • Celebrate Sovereignty
  • Declaring Independence Scavenger Hunt
  • Listen to stories of our patriotic past (noon, 12:30 p.m., 1 p.m.,1:30 p.m., 2 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3 p.m., 3:30 p.m.)
  • Make colonial-style wigs and dress in period clothing
  • Sign the Declaration of Independence
  • Write with a quill pen
  • Set your name in type
  • Meet Revolutionary figures Abigail and John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Ned Hector, John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson, John Dunlap and George Washington between noon and 4 p.m.

Celebrate July 4th at the National Archives Presidential Libraries

*Several libraries will show a livestream of the Washington, DC, Declaration of Independence Reading Ceremony in their theaters for visitors to watch (10 a.m. EDT).

Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, Hyde Park, NY*

Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, Independence, MO*
The Museum will be open 9 a.m.–5 p.m., and free admission will be extended to all members of the military, both active and retired.

Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, Abilene, KS*

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston, MA*
The Museum will be open 9 a.m.–5 p.m., and free admission will be extended to all members of the active military.

Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, Austin, TX*
The Museum will be open 9 a.m.–5 p.m., with free museum admission to celebrate the Fourth of July.

Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, Yorba Linda, CA
The Nixon Library will host Fourth of July Concerts.
July 2 at 12:30 p.m.: The Huntington Beach Band.
July 4, time TBD: The Placentia Symphonic Band and the Huntington Beach Symphonic Band.

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, Grand Rapids, MI*

Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, Atlanta, GA*

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, Simi Valley, CA
To celebrate our nation’s 241st birthday, the Reagan Library is hosting a day full of family-fun activities. This year’s celebration includes patriotic concerts, family entertainment, games, crafts, and more. The 562nd Air Force Band will perform at 10 a.m. in the Courtyard. The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department Band will perform at 1 p.m in the Courtyard. Guests will also get to hear about the lives of Thomas Jefferson, Ulysses S. Grant, George Washington, and Abraham Lincoln throughout the day. 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 Library 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 8:15 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 and 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 concert by the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra and a spectacular fireworks display.

William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, Little Rock, AR*
The Museum will be open 9 a.m.–5 p.m., with free museum admission to celebrate the Fourth of July.

George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, Dallas, TX*
Celebrate Independence Day and the days leading up to it at the National Archives Building between 7th and 9th Streets, Washington, DC. The National Archives Museum, where you can see the original Declaration of Independence, will have EXTENDED HOURS of 10 a.m. to  7 p.m. from June 30 through July 6 (last admission is 6:30 p.m.)

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 inside the Museum’s Boeing Learning Center from June 26th-July 6th, and add your John Hancock to the list.

Related Programs at the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC:

Global Spirits: American Cocktails
Thursday, June 29, at 6 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater, National Archives Museum, Washington, DC
Hosted by the National Archives Foundation and The Tasting Panel Magazine, Global Spirits: American Cocktails, will kick off several days of festivities celebrating July 4, 2017. Top mixologists will be tasked with the creation of an original cocktail inspired by classic American cocktails. As the bartenders blend their concoction for judges to taste, they will describe how they were inspired to create a modern take on an American classic. Guests will have the opportunity to taste exclusive cocktails created by eight of the top bartenders from around the country. Tickets are $60 for Foundation members; $70 for non-members. See more information.

Performance by the United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps
Friday, June 30, at noon.
Constitution Ave. Steps, National Archives Museum, Washington, DC

Taste American Heritage® Chocolate
Saturday, July 1, at 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Near the National Archives Store, National Archives Museum, Washington, DC

Performance by Batala Washington
Saturday, July 1, at 1 p.m.
Constitution Ave. Steps, National Archives Museum, Washington, DC

Taste American Heritage® Chocolate
Sunday, July 2, at 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Near the National Archives Store, National Archives Museum, Washington, DC

Performance by the Singing Capital Chorus
Sunday, July 2, at noon
Constitution Ave. Steps, National Archives Museum, Washington, DC.

Frederick Douglass: The Meaning of July 4th for the Negro
Monday, July 3, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater, National Archives Museum, Washington, DC
In a July 5, 1852, speech to a group of abolitionists, Frederick Douglass reminded them that for slaves and former slaves, the Declaration of Independence represented the unfulfilled promise of liberty for all. A dramatic reading of excerpts from the speech will be followed by a discussion. Presented in partnership with the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site.

Interactive Performance by GottaSwing
Monday, July 3, at 5 p.m.
Constitution Ave. Steps, National Archives Museum, Washington, DC

Discovering the Sussex Declaration
Thursday, July 6, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater, National Archives Museum, Washington, DC
Harvard University researchers Danielle Allen and Emily Sneff will discuss the recent identification of a second parchment manuscript of the Declaration of Independence, this one dating to the 1780s. The manuscript is written in the hand of a single clerk, as are the names of all the signatories. Most importantly, the signatories are not presented in state order, apparently in support of Federalist and nationalist arguments for the new Constitution.

Social Media

Snapchat: Visitors stopping by the National Archives in Washington, DC, from June 30 through July 4 can use a special Snapchat filter to celebrate the Fourth of July.

Join the conversation with #ArchivesJuly4

Snippet

# # #

For press information contact the National Archives Public and Media Communications Staff at 202-357-5300.

Connect with the National Archives on:
Twitter logo icon Twitter: @USNatArchives
Facebook logo icon Facebook: USNationalArchives
Tumblr icon Tumblr: usnatarchives
Instagram logo icon Instagram: usnatarchives

 

This page was last reviewed on June 1, 2017.
Contact us with questions or comments.

Top