July 4th Public Reading of the Declaration of Independence

Morristown National Historical Park invites you to celebrate Independence Day on July Fourth with activities starting at noon at Washington’s Headquarters, 30 Washington Place. Enjoy a variety of engaging activities, including Junior Ranger Program promotions and interactive demonstrations by reenactors from the 2nd New Jersey regiment. You can join in singing soldier songs from the era, explore period-correct tents to see what soldiers carried, and learn about the daily lives of Revolutionary War soldiers. These activities will culminate in a public reading of the Declaration of Independence.

At 1:00 pm, join us for the “Public Reading of the Declaration of Independence.” Cheer along with park rangers and reenactors as they denounce tyranny and praise liberty. After the reading, you are welcome to visit the Washington’s Headquarters Museum and explore the park grounds.

Remember to bring water, a chair or blanket to sit on, and dress appropriately for the weather, including wearing a hat and sunscreen. The event will take place rain or shine. Due to limited parking, carpooling or walking to the event is encouraged. Please note that the Ford Mansion will not be open for tours on July 4 due to ongoing rehabilitation and visitor accessibility construction work.

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

The tradition of celebrating American Independence began as news of the Declaration of Independence spread from town to town. Congress wished for public readings of the Declaration to inform everyone. These gatherings included firing muskets or cannons, toasts, and salutes to American Independence. General Washington had the Declaration read to his troops in 1776. Although there is no record of celebrations in Morristown, the army was present in Morristown for the first anniversary of Independence in July 1777.

For more information about Morristown National Historical Park, visit the park’s website here.

Disclaimer: This above news story is based on a press release from the National Park Service, which was issued on June 18, 2024. You can read the original release here.

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Feature image: nps.gov