Independence Day in the Nation’s Capital (photos)

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The dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence by George Washington and others on the National Archives steps. Photo by Jeff Malet.

Despite seasonally hot temperatures, hundreds of thousands once again descended on Washington, D.C., on July 4 to celebrate the 242nd anniversary of our nation’s independence.

Visitors were treated to an early morning performance at the National Archives steps by the 3rd U.S. Infantry “The Old Guard” Fife and Drum Corps, followed by a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence by Abigail and John Adams, Ben Franklin, John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.

Just before noon, the National Independence Day Parade, featuring military units, marching bands, floats and helium balloons, began to wend its way up Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th Streets.

A few blocks away, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall spotlighted the cultures of Armenia and Catalonia.

Toward evening, the PBS “A Capitol Fourth” concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol presented all-star musical performances from the Beach Boys, the Temptations, soprano Renée Fleming and violin virtuoso Joshua Bell, among others.

The day came to a fitting conclusion with the traditional fireworks display over our national monuments.

View Jeff Malet’s photos of the National Independence Day Parade, the dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence from the steps of the National Archives, the PBS “A Capitol Fourth” concert and the fireworks by clicking on the photo icons below.

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