Join us for our Annual Fourth of July Celebration at the National Archives, the Home of the Declaration of Independence


On Thursday, July 4, 2024, the National Archives will celebrate the 248th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence with its traditional in-person Fourth of July program featuring musical performances and family activities. 

“On the Fourth of July, we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which proclaimed our nation's independence from Great Britain and set forth the ideals of freedom, equality, and democracy. It is a day to reflect on how far we have come as a nation and to recommit ourselves to these ideals,” said Archivist of the United States Dr. Colleen Shogan.  “As the home of the Declaration and our other founding documents, the National Archives is proud to play our part in preserving, protecting and sharing our nation's history and heritage. We welcome everyone to come celebrate with us.”

This year's keynote speaker is Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force (CMSAF) JoAnne S. Bass (Retired). She became the 19th CMSAF, and the first woman to hold the highest senior enlisted rank in any United States military branch, on August 14, 2020, and she served in this capacity until her retirement this year. As the CMSAF, she represented the highest enlisted level of leadership and, as such, provided direction for the enlisted force and represented their interests, as appropriate, to the American public and to those in all levels of government. 

Additional highlights include welcoming remarks by the Archivist of the United States, a variety of educational and family-friendly programs with historical figures and Archives educators, and a lively patriotic reading ceremony hosted by WUSA9 News Anchor Allison Seymour. 

"As always, the National Archives Foundation is proud to support the annual July 4th Reading Ceremony and the National Archives mission of sharing America's past through the preservation of documents like the original Declaration of Independence'' said Secretary Rodney Slater, Chair and President of the National Archives Foundation Board. "We believe that the 4th of July starts at the Archives with the many stories of our great experiment and our work for almost 250 years to strive towards that more perfect union."

All July 4th activities are free and open to the public. Extended hours for the National Archives Galleries leading up to July 4th (July 1–4) are 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Timed entry tickets to see the original Declaration of Independence in person are available, but not required.

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