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July Fourth Public Reading of the Declaration of Independence

July 4 @ 12:00 pm


Morristown National Historical Park will celebrate our Declaration of Independence with July Fourth activities beginning at noon on the park’s Washington’s Headquarters grounds, 30 Washington Place. The event will feature a variety of activities, including the promotion of Junior Ranger Programs and interactive demonstrations by reenactors from the 2nd New Jersey regiment. Visitors can join in singing soldier songs from the era, explore period-correct tents displaying what soldiers would have carried with them, and learn about the daily lives of soldiers during the Revolutionary War. These activities will be followed by the reading of the Declaration.

At 1:00 pm, the “Public Reading of the Declaration of Independence” will commence. Attendees will be encouraged to cheer along with park rangers and reenactors as they denounce tyranny and praise liberty. At the conclusion of the reading, attendees are welcome to visit the Washington’s Headquarters Museum and enjoy the park grounds.

Visitors are asked to bring water to drink and a chair or a blanket to sit on the ground and are reminded to dress appropriately for the weather, including wearing a hat and sunscreen. It is a rain-or-shine event. Due to limited parking, guests are encouraged to carpool or walk to the event. Finally, due to ongoing rehabilitation and visitor accessibility construction work at the Ford Mansion, the mansion will not be open for tours on July 4.

All activities will take place at the Washington’s Headquarters area and are free of charge. The Jockey Hollow Visitor Center and Wick House will be closed on July 4, but Jockey Hollow’s grounds and trails will be open.

The first celebrations of American Independence took place as news of the Declaration of Independence spread from town to town. It was Congress’ wish that public readings of the Declaration be held “in such a mode, as that the people may be universally informed of it.” Public gatherings included various forms of celebration, such as firing muskets or cannons, as well as toasts and salutes to American Independence. General Washington had the Declaration of Independence read to his troops in 1776. Although there is no evidence of any celebration in Morristown, the army was in Morristown for the first anniversary of Independence during a brief visit in July 1777.

For more information call 973-539-2016 x 260 or visit www.nps.gov/morr. Article courtesy of the Morristown National Historical Park. 


Washington’s Headquarters Museum
30 Washington Place
Morristown, NJ 07960 United States
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