Declaration of Independence Reading at George Washington Headquarters photo

Declaration of Independence Reading in Morristown

Looking for a fun Independence Day event in Morristown? Look no further than General Washington’s headquarters!

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, with a “Warm-Up for the Declaration” followed by the reading of the Declaration.

The “Warm-Up” will feature a park ranger in period clothing entertaining the crowd and giving a “kids level” explanation of the Declaration. Eighteenth-century stories, jokes and riddles are all part of the fun.

At 1 pm the “Public Reading of the Declaration of Independence” will commence. Attendees will be encouraged to cheer along with park rangers and re-enactors as they denounce tyranny and praise liberty. At the conclusion of the reading, attendees are welcome to participate in a mock salute called a feu de joie (musket salute).

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. All activities will take place at the Washington’s Headquarters area and are free of charge.

The Ford Mansion will not be open for this event due to ongoing construction. Jockey Hollow Visitor Center and Wick House will also be closed for the event, 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 cannon, 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 of the day, the army was in Morristown for the first anniversary of Independence during a brief visit in July 1777.

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Jul 04 2024


12:00 pm - 3:00 pm


George Washington Headquarters
30 Washington Place, Morristown, NJ


Morristown National Park

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