Press/Journalists
Press Release
June 20, 2001
July 4th Media Opportunities at the National Archives

Washington, DC. . . July 4th is the final day that the public may visit the National Archives Rotunda until 2003. The Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights will be on display in the Rotunda from 10 AM until 6 PM, on July 4th. Beginning July 5th, the Rotunda will be closed for extensive renovation and The Charters of Freedom will be removed from their protective encasements for conservation treatment. The National Archives is located on Constitution Avenue, between 7th and 9th Streets, NW.

The following special activities are open to the media:

  • 9:15 AM: National Archives Rotunda. The final raising ceremony of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. For the last time, the Charters will be raised from their underground vault into their public display cases. The public may view the ceremony from a video wall on the steps of the National Archives.

  • 9 AM - 10 AM: Constitution Avenue steps of the National Archives Building. Time travelers, including George and Martha Washington and Thomas Jefferson will mingle with the crowd. Visitors may sign facsimiles of the Declaration of Independence.

  • 10 AM - 11:30 AM: Constitution Avenue steps of the National Archives Building. Traditional program, including the Presentation of the Colors by the Joint Services Color Guard and patriotic American music by the 3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard) Fife and Drum Corps, followed by a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence by Gwen Ifill and Ray Suarez, correspondents with The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. The ceremony will conclude with a concert of American music.

  • 10 AM - 6 PM: National Archives Rotunda. The original Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights will be on display. The documents will be flanked by a joint military honor guard. The changing of the guard ceremony will take place every 30 minutes from 10 A.M. to 6 P.M. (PLEASE NOTE the early closing time of the National Archives Rotunda.)

  • 2 PM - 6 PM: Portico of the National Archives Building. Demonstrations of 18th century calligraphy by Brody Neuenschwander.

  • 7 PM: National Archives Rotunda. Final closing and lowering ceremony of the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. This ceremony will be closed to the public. They may view the ceremony from a video wall on the steps of the National Archives.

The media should contact the National Archives public affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 for more information about these opportunities. The public may call (202) 501-5000.

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