Press/Journalists

Celebrate July 4th at the National Archives in DC and Across the Nation
Press Release · Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Washington, DC

The National Archives celebrates the 242nd 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 242nd anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence with its traditional Fourth of July program.  Local Fox 5 News Anchor Allison Seymour will return as the master of ceremonies and Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero will offer remarks. Additional information is at www.archives.gov/news/topics/july4/. The free celebration will include patriotic music, a dramatic reading of the Declaration by historical reenactors, family activities and entertainment for all ages. Watch highlights from last year’s celebration.

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

WHEN: Wednesday, July 4, 2018
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 6:30 p.m.)

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.

Patriotic Shopping at the National Archives Tent Store on Constitution Avenue
8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Live Musical Performance 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*
  • Live performance of the National Anthem by vocalist Caleb Green
  • Performance by the Fife and Drum Corps*
  • Remarks by David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States
  • 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
  • Live performance of “America the Beautiful” by The MusicianShip Washington Youth Choir

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

Live Musical Performance 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, 1:00, 1:30, 2:00, 2:30, 3:00, 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
(All times local)

*Several libraries will show a livestream or time delayed screening of the Washington, DC, Declaration of Independence Reading Ceremony in their theaters for visitors to watch.

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, West Branch, IA
The Museum will be open from 9:00 a.m. to  5:00 p.m. At 2:00 p.m., the Eastern Iowa Brass Band will perform a free concert in the Village Green in West Branch, Iowa, on the corner of Parkside Drive and Main Street. Before the band performance the Declaration of Independence will be read to remind us what the day is all about. The concert is sponsored by the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum in West Branch, Iowa.   Currently on display is Tallgrass to Knee High: A Century of Iowa Farming. The concert on the Village Green is free and open to the public, regular admission is charged to go through the Museum galleries. For more information please call 319-643-5301.

Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, Abilene, KS
The library campus will be open from 8 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Broadcast of the Declaration of Independence Reading at 10 a.m. in the Visitors Center Auditorium. Active duty military receive free admission.

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. Participates in the Blue Star Museums program offering free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel, including National Guard and Reserve, and their families through Labor Day 2018.

Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, Yorba Linda, CA
Sunday, July 1, noon, 4th of July concert by Huntington Beach Band, Tom Ridley Conductor.
The Wednesday, July 4, Fourth of July Celebration at the Nixon Library will include:
All Day – Meet and take photos with American History Heroes George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Richard Henry Lee and Abigail Adams
10:45 AM – Opening Ceremony - Experience a historical portrayal of the “Shot Heard Round the World,” the first shot of the American Revolution.
12:00 pm  – Placentia Symphonic Band Concert - The renowned 90-member Placentia Symphonic Band will play their classic set list of All-American favorites in the magnificent White House East Room.
1:30 PM – The Declaration of Independence, hosted by Benjamin Franklin
Authentic musket firing demonstrations at 11:45 AM, 3:15 PM and 4:15 PM.

 

 

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

Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, Atlanta, GA
The Library will celebrate with a naturalization ceremony as 48 petitioners from 32 countries become American citizens. The ceremony is open to the public and will be held at  10 a.m. in the Carter Presidential Museum Theater.

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, Simi Valley, CA
To celebrate our Nation’s 242nd 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. All outdoor activities are free; admission rates apply to view the Ronald Reagan Presidential  Museum, Air Force One Pavilion, and our blockbuster special exhibit, Genghis Khan: The Exhibition. Reservations are not required for this event. For more information, please call 805-522-2977.

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 p.m. with free admission all day. Concessions start at 5:30 p.m. including 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 Rides. The evening will culminate with an 8:45 p.m. concert by the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra and a 9:30 p.m. spectacular fireworks display. Register online.

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
Participates in the Blue Star Museums program offering free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel, including National Guard and Reserve, and their families through Labor Day 2018.

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 29 through July 4 (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 25th-July 8th, and add your John Hancock to the list.

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

National Archives Tent Store on Constitution Avenue
Friday, June 29 through July 8, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Constitution Avenue near 7th Street, National Archives Museum, Washington, DC

Patriotic Lighting of the National Archives
Friday, June 29 through July 5, Sundown
National Archives Museum, Washington, DC

Taste American Heritage® Chocolate
Saturday, June  30, at 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Near the National Archives Store, National Archives Museum, Washington, DC

Performance by Malcolm X Drummers
Saturday, June 30, at 12 p.m.
Constitution Ave. Steps, National Archives Museum, Washington, DC

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

Performance by Mark H. Taiko
Sunday, July 1, at 12 p.m.
Constitution Ave. Steps, National Archives Museum, Washington, DC.

Interactive Performance by GottaSwing
Monday, July 2, at 12 p.m.
Constitution Ave. Steps, National Archives Museum, Washington, DC

Rival Friends: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson Discuss & Debate The Founding of The United States
Tuesday, July 3, at 12 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater
The personal friendship, patriotic collaboration, and political rivalry of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams spanned five decades and the genesis of the United States of America. They fought together first to establish, then to establish international respect for, the new nation. Later, they fought with one another over the direction that nation would take. In the end, they gave future generations the precious example of two U.S. presidents opposed to one another in politics, yet allied in patriotism and mutual respect.  This show will feature debate and discussion, not only between the two founding fathers (portrayed by Joseph Doyle and Steven Edenbo) but also involving the audience, who will be invited to participate with their questions, challenges, and a few fun surprises. Topics will include The Declaration of Independence, Alexander Hamilton, the Constitution, the Presidency, and... any topic that the audience is would like to introduce (provided it happened before July 4th of 1826). This program is presented in collaboration with American Historical Theatre (www.AHTheatre.org)

Balloon Art by Carbone Balloons and Face Painting by DC Face Painting
Tuesday, July 3, at 12 p.m.
Constitution Ave. Steps, National Archives Museum, Washington, DC

Fourth of July 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 in the #ArchivesJuly4 conversation!

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

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This page was last reviewed on June 28, 2018.
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