Start Your Fourth of July Celebration at the National Archives, the Home of the Declaration of Independence
Press Release · Monday, June 3, 2019

Washington, DC

July 4th at the National Archives


The National Archives celebrates the 243rd anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence with special events at its Museum in Washington, DC.

WHAT: The National Archives in Washington, DC, will celebrate the 243rd 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. Journalist and author Cokie Roberts will provide the ceremony’s keynote address. The free celebration will include patriotic music, a dramatic reading of the Declaration by historical reenactors, family activities, and entertainment for all ages. See highlights from last year’s celebration.

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

WHEN: Thursday, July 4, 2019

  • Ceremony: 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.  
  • Family activities: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Exhibits (including the original Declaration of Independence & the Rightfully Hers exhibit): 12 p.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.

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 The Experience Band & Show (previously known as Brass Connections)
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 Crystal Mosser
  • Performance by the Fife and Drum Corps*
  • Remarks by David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States
  • Keynote Speech by Cokie Roberts, Journalist and Author
  • Dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence by costumed interpreters  portraying historical characters, including Abigail Adams, John Adams, John Dunlap, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, Ned Hector, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington
  • Live performance of “America the Beautiful” by vocalist Caleb Green

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

Live Musical Performance by The Experience Band & Show  
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
12 p.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.
  • Engage in Discovering Democracy Carts
  • And a whole lot more!

Related Exhibit Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote commemorates the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment by looking beyond suffrage parades and protests to the often overlooked story behind this landmark moment in American history. This fuller retelling of the struggle for women’s voting rights illustrates the dynamic involvement of American women across the spectrum of race, ethnicity, and class to reveal what it really takes to win the vote for one-half of the people. On display in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery of the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC, through January 3, 2021.

Rightfully Hers is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of Unilever, Pivotal Ventures, Carl M. Freeman Foundation in honor of Virginia Allen Freeman, AARP, AT&T, Ford Motor Company Fund, Facebook, Barbara Lee Family Foundation Fund at the Boston Foundation, Google, HISTORY ®, and Jacqueline B. Mars. Additional support for National Outreach and Programs provided by Denise Gwyn Ferguson, BMO Financial Group, Hearst Foundations, Maris S. Cuneo Foundation, FedEx, Bernstein Family Foundation, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation/Ambassador Fay-Hartog Levin (Ret.).


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For media inquiries, please contact: National Archives Public and Media Communications at (202) 357-5300 or via email at

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This page was last reviewed on July 3, 2019.
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