Happy Fourth of July!
Crowds attend the 1954 fireworks on the National Mall with the Washington Monument in the background during the Eisenhower administration, 1954.
White House staff members watch Fourth of July fireworks from the White House lawn. The Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial are in the background. Nixon administration, 1969.
Follow this year’s festivities from the 4th at the U.S. National Archives and a live reading of the Declaration of Independence here!
Dusk Before the Fireworks
Pictured here, White House staff wait for the fireworks display on the South Lawn. Carter administration, 7/4/80.
Happy Fourth of July!
Fourth of July with the Presidents
Some Presidents preferred to relax away from the White House – Lyndon B. Johnson traditionally spent the holiday at his ranch in Stonewall, Texas. Others have traced the history of the holiday with visits to Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Read more
To celebrate the Fourth here’s a gallery of Presidential Independence Day celebrations from the White House Blog.
This photo is from the fireworks display over Washington D.C. during the Eisenhower administration. 7/4/54.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men."
-Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence 1776
Today in history, President Franklin D. Roosevelt lays the cornerstone for the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C. November 15, 1939.
This memorial to our 3rd president was designed by architect John Russell Pope (who also designed the National Archives building in Washington D.C. about a decade earlier).
Pope looked to the architectural tastes of Jefferson to create the Memorial. Jefferson himself had introduced the Classical circular colonnade style to the United States, and Pope used the motif to to convey the spirit of this founding father.
The quote above is among multiple passages that appear on the panels in the Memorial.
Here’s a photo of the Jefferson Memorial illuminated at night during President Truman’s inaugural celebration, January 20, 1949.