Every year, we celebrate Independence Day on the steps of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. It’s a fun, free event for the whole family!
(And if you don’t like the heat, you can now watch the program live from inside the National Archives building. Email email@example.com to reserve a seat in our air-conditioned theater.)
This year, Steve Scully of C-SPAN is our Master of Ceremonies. The Archivist of the United States, David Ferriero, will welcome the crowds. Our special guests George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Ben Franklin, Ned Hector, and Abigail Adams will read aloud the Declaration of Independence. This is your chance to boo and huzzah like the colonists of 1776!
The 3rd United States Infantry “Old Guard” Continental Color Guard will present the colors, and the United States Air Force Band will sing the National Anthem.
After the program, you can go into the building and see the original Declaration of Independence in the Rotunda where it is on permanent display. (Look for the mysterious handprint!) And don’t miss the family activities in the Boeing Learning Center.
Here’s the schedule of events—stay and watch the parade afterwards!
10 a.m.–11 a.m.
Declaration of Independence Reading Ceremony
- Presentation of colors by the Continental Color Guard*
- Performance by the Fife
Posted by Hilary on June 29, 2013, under - Declaration of Independence, - Revolutionary War, News and Events, Pennsylvania Avenue.
Tags: Archivist, David Ferriero, Independence Day, July 4, Steve Scully
Today’s post originally appeared in the 2012 Summer Issue of Prologue magazine, and was written by Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero.
The Electoral College. Established 1787.
It isn’t really a college, and the electors aren’t tenured professors.
The electors are really voters, and their votes count in a very big way.
The electors were created by the Constitution to do only one thing: elect the President and Vice President of the United States. The Electoral College became part of the Constitution at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, when delegates assembled to devise something to replace the Articles of Confederation.
Some delegates wanted Congress to choose the President, but that would have upset the balance of power among the three branches of government. Others called for direct popular vote, but that would have left the decision in the hands of ill-informed voters who knew little about politicians outside their home state.
So they created electors. And they hoped the electors would be some of brightest and best informed people who would base their decisions on the candidates’ merit. (Each state gets as many electoral votes as it has members in the Senate and House.)
Still trying to think of a clever costume to wear on Halloween? We’ve listed some of our favorite suggestions below. (And if anyone actually takes us up on these suggestions, please send us a picture!)
I Like Ike!
Are you a power couple? How about combining the the upcoming election with some historic campaign fun into a matched costume?
This costume might be the easiest! You’ll just need two bathrobes and a hair ribbon to recreate a lighthearted moment on Ike and Mamie’s whistle stop campaign when their train stopped in Salisbury, NC. Mamie persuaded Ike to let the press snap their in dressing gowns. Bonus points if you make “I like Ike” buttons and hand them out at the party.
America the Beautiful
Another option for a pair of friends is to go as an unfinished Mount Rushmore.
Take a white board and sketch out a mountain side. Cut two curves in the top corner to rest your chins on. Apply white costume make up liberally to your faces. The person portraying George might need a wig. For the unfinished Jefferson, some white play dough stuck to your face should help convey a sense of unfinished stone. This costume might be … [ Read all ]
The fiery trial through which we pass, will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation. . . . In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free—honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best, hope of earth. President Abraham Lincoln, 1862.
Two original versions of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation will be displayed together for the first time in the Schomburg Center in New York City from September 21 to 24.
This is a rare opportunity to see the signed draft that is part of the holdings of the National Archives. This document represents the transformation of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation from intent to action. On September 22, 1862, Lincoln’s handwritten draft was transcribed, affixed with the Seal of the United States, and signed by him. The Proclamation now carried the force of law.
The Proclamation had been in development since the summer. In July 1862, President Lincoln read his “preliminary proclamation” to his Cabinet but decided to wait for a Union military victory to issue it. On September 17, 1862, over 6,000 Union and Confederate men died at Antietam in the bloodiest day in American history. Thousands more were wounded or missing. It was also the 75th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution.
On … [ Read all ]
In honor of the 225th anniversary of the Constitution, we challenged citizens on Twitter to take the Preamble of the Constitution and distill its meaning into a twitter-sized bite. The Archivist of the United States chose the winner on the Constitution Day. Congratulations to Jean Huets, who will receive a pocket-sized Constitution from the Foundation for the National Archives.