News Article

Foundation Celebrates July 4th With Annual Breakfast

July 4, 2014

The Foundation for the National Archives joined its partners at the National Archives to present an exciting day of July 4th activities, welcoming thousands of visitors to the home of the original Declaration of Independence.

The annual Independence Day celebration, which included patriotic music, a dramatic reading of the Declaration from the National Archives steps, and free family activities, was presented in partnership with the Foundation through the generous support of lead sponsor John Hancock as well as the national law firm Dykema.

July 4th at the National Archives is a favorite starting point for thousands of Independence Day visitors to the National Mall each year. C-Span News Broadcaster Steve Scully served as this year’s emcee, and Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero welcomed the crowd, which included many families who had stopped to sign a facsimile of the Declaration with a quill pen outside the Archives before joining the celebration on the steps.

Historical re-enactors “Thomas Jefferson,” “John Adams,” “Benjamin Franklin,” “General George Washington, “Abigail Adams,” and “Private Ned Hector” read the colonists’ grievances against King George III  and led the boisterous crowd in voicing the outrage of the colonists by booing the grievances. As the names of each signer of the Declaration was read, they led the crowd in cheering, “Huzzah!”

Musical entertainment was provided by the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry “The Old Guard” Fife and Drum Corps and the United States Navy Band, which led the National Anthem. The festivities concluded with a performance of “America the Beautiful” by four-time international whistling champion Christopher Ullman.

The public program followed the Foundation’s annual Promise of America Breakfast and a private program and tours for Foundation supporters and their guests. The Archivist and the Foundation’s Board joined Foundation Chair and President A’Lelia Bundles, Executive Director Patrick M. Madden, John Hancock’s Vice President of Government Relations Linda Watters, and Dykema’s DC Office Managing Member Paul Laurenza and his wife, Ann Maria, to participate in the breakfast program.

Other special guests included U.S. Rep. John Larson (D-Connecticut) and family; Smithsonian Board of Regents Chair John McCarter; Kevin Gover, director of the National Museum for the American Indian; U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth; and Foundation Board members Cokie Roberts, Mary Lynn Kotz, and Lucinda Robb.

Representatives from American Heritage Chocolate were also on hand during the breakfast and throughout the day to provide colonial-era chocolate demonstrations and tastings in the Archives’ Visitor Orientation Plaza.