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Looking outwards from the National Archives where American flag banners hang down

The view from the National Archives as seen on July 4, 2024. (Gianna Gronowski/Stars and Stripes)

WASHINGTON, DC — The National Archives celebrated the Fourth of July by honoring the tradition of reading the Declaration of Independence to all that wished to hear.

On July 4, 2024, a crowd gathered at the steps of the National Archives to hear reenactors read from the document that launched the American Revolution — and the grievances against King George III.

Members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, Old Guard, Fife and Drum Corps demonstrated colonial battle march fanfare.

Following the performance, Dr. Colleen Shogan, 11th Archivist of the United States, made special remarks about the sanctity of democracy. Key remarks were given by Retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant JoAnne S. Bass. She called on each and every person to serve, whether it be in the military or by doing good in one’s community.

Founding Fathers Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, and American revolutionaries Ned Hector, James Forten and Abigail Adams rallied the crowd of onlookers to shout ‘Huzzah!’ for American colonial independence and boo British tyranny.

Members of the public were invited to view the actual Declaration of Independence within the Archives, and some lucky individuals could add their name to (a replica of) the historic document.

Despite the large crowd, no attempts to steal the Declaration of Independence were made, although Shogan confirms National Treasure’s Nic Cage to visit the National Archives anytime.

A man dressed in colonial attire stands on a stage in front of a crowd

A man portraying Thomas Jefferson stands on the steps of the National Archives for its Independence Day event on July 4, 2024. (Gianna Gronowski/Stars and Stripes)

JoAnne S. Bass, 19th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force giving a speech on the steps of the National Archives

JoAnne S. Bass, 19th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, gave Key Remarks at the National Archives’ Fourth of July event on July 4, 2024, in Washington, DC. (Gianna Gronowski/Stars and Stripes)

A man dressed in colonial attire reads from a book in front of a crowd

A reenactor portraying John Hancock reads a list of grievances to King George III on the steps of the National Archives on July 4, 2024. (Gianna Gronowski/Stars and Stripes)

An Airman with JoAnne S. Bass
, 19th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force

A retired U.S. Airman poses for a photo with retired Chief Master Sergeant JoAnne S. Bass , 19th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, at the National Archives on July 4, 2024. (Gianna Gronowski/Stars and Stripes)

A red and blue umbrella sports the preamble “We the people” from the Declaration of Independence in a crowd

A patron at the National Archives July 4th event carries an umbrella that sports the Declaration of Independence’s preamble. July 4, 2024. (Gianna Gronowski/Stars and Stripes)

A crowd forms on the steps of the National Archives on July 4, 2024

People gather on the steps of the National Archives ahead of an Independence Day event in Washington, D.C. (Gianna Gronowski/Stars and Stripes)

A crowd of people gathered at the steps of the National Archives

A crowd gathered for the National Archives’ Independence Day event on July 4, 2024. (Gianna Gronowski/Stars and Stripes)

A man dressed in colonial attire and a powdered wig reads from stacks of parchment in front of a crowd.

A reenactor portraying John Adams reads the Declaration of Independence on the steps of the National Archives on July 4, 2024. (Gianna Gronowski/Stars and Stripes)

A man dressed in colonial clothes reads from a book in front of a crowd

A reenactor portraying President George Washington reads the Declaration of Independence on the steps of the National Archives on July 4, 2024. (Gianna Gronowski/Stars and Stripes)

A man dressed in colonial clothes portraying Benjamin Franklin reads from a scroll in front of a crowd

A reenactor portraying Benjamin Franklin reads the Declaration of Independence from the steps of the National Archives on July 4, 2024. (Gianna Gronowski/Stars and Stripes)

A reenactor dressed in pink and white as Abigail Adams reads from a book in front of a crowd.

A reenactor portraying Abigail Adams reads the Declaration of Independence on the steps of the National Archives for its July 4, 2024, eevnt. (Gianna Gronowski/Stars and Stripes)

Dr. Colleen Shogan, AOTUS, on the steps of the National Archives

Dr. Colleen Shogan, the 11th Archivist of the United States, gives Welcome Remarks on the steps of the National Archives on July 4, 2024. (Gianna Gronowski/Stars and Stripes)

A man carries a sign that reads “#ArchivesJuly4” through a crowd.

A member of the National Archives event staff carries a sign through a gathering crowd on July 4, 2024. (Gianna Gronowski/Stars and Stripes)

A young boy holds a column by one hand on the steps of the National Archives and overlooks a gathering crowd on the street below.

A young buy surveys the gathering crowd from the steps of the National Archives before its Independence Day event begins, as seen on July 4, 2024. (Gianna Gronowski/Stars and Stripes)

Members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, Old Guard, Fife and Drum Corps blow trumpets at the National Archives’ July 4th event in Washington, DC.

Members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, Old Guard, Fife and Drum Corps blow trumpets at the National Archives’ July 4th event in Washington, DC. (Gianna Gronowski/Stars and Stripes)

A child receives a replica of the Declaration of Independence from a National Archives staff member

A young boy receives a replica of the Declaration of Independence after signing another replica inside the National Archives on July 4, 2024. (Gianna Gronowski/Stars and Stripes)

A young boy is directed by his mother where to sign a replica of a historical document as an attendant watches

A young boy signs a replica of the Declaration of Independence inside the National Archives on July 4, 2024. (Gianna Gronowski/Stars and Stripes)

A man dressed as Thomas Jefferson speaks with another man inside the National Archives

A reenactor portraying Thomas Jefferson speaks with a member of the public inside the National Archives on July 4, 2024. (Gianna Gronowski/Stars and Stripes)

A group of people view historical documents behind glass at the National Archives

A small crowd views the Declaration of Independence at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., on July 4, 2024. (Gianna Gronowski/Stars and Stripes)

A man blows a trombone in front of a crowd

A member of The Experience Band and Show blows a trombone on the steps of the National Archives on July 4, 2024. (Gianna Gronowski/Stars and Stripes)

A man plays the keyboard on the steps of the National Archives

A member of The Experience Band and Show plays the keyboard on the steps of the National Archives on July 4, 2024. (Gianna Gronowski/Stars and Stripes)

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