This online experience is presented by the National Archives Foundation

All you need to know to plan your celebration!

The National Archives Museum, where you can see the original Declaration of Independence, is open every day and will have EXTENDED HOURS of 10 PM to 7 PM from June 30 through July 6 (last admission is 6:30 PM).


Thursday, June 29th

6 PM
As part of the National Archives Foundation's History Happy Hour series, we've partnered with the Tasting Panel Magazine to present Global Spirits: American Cocktails.

Friday, June 30th

12 PM
Live musical performance by The United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps on the National Archives steps on Constitution Avenue NW


Saturday, July 1st

10 AM - 4 PM 
Taste American Heritage® Chocolate near the National Archives Store

1 PM
Live musical performance by Batala Washington on the National Archives steps on Constitution Avenue NW

Sunday, July 2nd

10 AM - 4 PM 
Taste American Heritage® Chocolate near the National Archives Store

12 PM
Live musical performance by The Singing Capital Chorus on the National Archives steps on Constitution Avenue NW


Monday, July 3rd


1 PM
Frederick Douglass: “The Meaning of July 4th for the Negro”
A book signing follows the program.

5 PM
Live performance by GottaSwing on the National Archives steps on Constitution Avenue NW


Tuesday, July 4th: On the National Archives steps on Constitution Avenue NW

9 - 9:45 AM 
Live musical performance by Brass Connection

10 AM
Declaration of Independence Reading Ceremony, including:
  • Greetings by master of ceremonies Allison Seymour, Fox 5 News Anchor
  • Presentation of colors by the Continental Color Guard*
  • Performance of the National Anthem by Caleb Green
  • Performance by the Fife and Drum Corps*
  • Remarks by Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero
  • 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
  • Performance of "America the Beautiful" by Caleb Green

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

11 - 11:45 AM 
Live musical performance by Brass Connection

11:45 AM
National Independence Day Parade

Tuesday, July 4th: Inside the National Archives Museum

10 AM - 5:30 PM 
Explore the National Archives Museum and view the original Declaration of Independence in the Rotunda

11 AM - 4 PM 
Participate in hands-on activities for all ages in the Boeing Learning Center:

  • Collect autographs
  • Celebrate Sovereignty
  • Declaring Independence Scavenger Hunt
  • Listen to stories of our patriotic past (noon, 12:30 PM, 1 PM,1:30 PM, 2 PM, 2:30 PM, 3 PM, 3:30 PM)
  • Make colonial-style wigs and dress in period clothing
  • Sign a facsimile of the Declaration of Independence - or click here to sign now!
  • 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 PM

Thursday, July 6th


12 PM
Discovering the Sussex Declaration

*Members: Don’t forget - your membership card guarantees you priority access to the National Archives Museum all day, every day! Not yet a member? Join today!

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