This online experience is presented by the National Archives Foundation

July 4th at the National Archives

Day-of Celebration

Join the National Archives on Constitution Avenue in celebration of July 4th! We’re celebrating America’s birthday on the steps of the National Archives with re-enactors, family fun, and the iconic Declaration of Independence reading ceremony.
Come early and get your seat for the Reading of the Declaration of Independence, and enjoy live music by The Experience Band and Show until the celebration begins.
  • Greetings by WUSA9 News Anchor Allison Seymour
  • Presentation of colors by the Continental Color Guard*
  • Live performance of the National Anthem by Dr. Kimberly Hess and the Marymount University Chamber Singers
  • Performance by the Fife and Drum Corps*
  • Remarks by Archivist of the United States Dr. Colleen Shogan
  • Keynote Speech by Senior Advisor to President of the Washington Commanders Doug Williams
  • Dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence by costumed interpreters  portraying historical characters, including Abigail Adams, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, James Forten, John Hancock, Ned Hector, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington 
  • Live performance of “America the Beautiful” by Millicent Scarlett, Soprano

* Continental Color Guard and Fife and Drum Corps provided by U.S. 3rd Infantry, the Old Guard.
Live Musical Performance by The Experience Band and Show
Stay and enjoy front-row seats for the National Independence Day Parade at 11:45 a.m.
Family Activities
Inside the National Archives Museum, Boeing Learning Center and McGowan Theater
Participate in hands-on family activities:

  • Sign the Declaration of Independence
  • Declaring Independence Scavenger Hunt
  • Make your own 4th of July Flag
  • Design and Make Your Own Independence Day Button
  • Fun Coloring and Activity Stations
  • Meet and have your picture taken with Revolutionary figures Abigail and John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Ned Hector, John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington between noon and 4 p.m.
  • Listen to Frederick Douglass tell his story and explain what the 4th of July means to him (at 2 p.m. ET in the McGowan Theater, watch on the National Archives YouTube Channel )
  • And a whole lot more!