Virtual Fourth of July Celebration

Declaration of Independence

The powerful words of the Declaration of Independence founded a new nation on the revolutionary idea that “all men are created equal” with unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Declaration’s promise of liberty and equality has been expanding ever since, yet still remains a beautiful—but unfulfilled—dream. The American Revolution lives on in all of us as we continue the work of advancing these promises for all people.

During a weeklong Fourth of July celebration, the Museum of the American Revolution will offer free, interactive virtual experiences for all ages that explore the Declaration’s promise. Throughout the week, virtual visitors can explore the Museum’s free, immersive Virtual Tour to learn the intimate – often unfamiliar – stories of the diverse range of ordinary people who powered the Revolution, and be inspired to think about continuities between the Revolutionary era and transformations in our own time. The Museum also will offer family-friendly fun, including quizzes, a virtual scavenger hunt, and Hamilton-inspired activities in anticipation of the July 3rd Hamilton film release on Disney Plus.

Special events include a lively conversation with Hamilton expert Dr. Joanne Freeman and Paul Oakley Stovall, who currently plays George Washington in the national tour of Hamilton: An American Musical, as they talk about the lure of America’s $10 Founding Father and his story’s relevance today. Dr. Caitlin Fitz will explore the international impact of the Declaration of Independence as a virtual Read the Revolution event. In our Meet the Revolution series, costumed interpreters Kalela Williams and Noah Lewis will talk about their work in bringing African American experiences of the Revolution to life in their work.  

Join us on social media to share how you are fulfilling the promise of the Revolution. Will you exercise your rights by voting? Donate to a cause? Speak out against injustice?  Be sure to tag @AmRevMuseum and #HowRevolutionary.

The Museum’s Fourth of July Week Celebration is sponsored by:
Bank of America logo

Virtual Offerings Throughout the Week Include:

Saturday, June 27 and Sunday, June 28 at 10 a.m.
Meet the Revolution

As part of the Museum’s Meet the Revolution series, costumed historical interpreters Kalela Williams and Noah Lewis will talk about bringing African American experiences of the Revolution to life in their work. On Saturday, Lewis will show a clip of his portrayal of Edward “Ned” Hector, a free African American man and soldier who fought in the Revolutionary War, one of nearly 5,000 people of color who fought during the American Revolution, followed by a personal discussion about his experiences in the field. On Sunday, Williams will discuss the character she portrays – an African American teacher in Philadelphia in 1790s – and explore the challenges of developing a character based on scant historical material.

Monday, June 29
Wawa Welcome America Day

As part of the citywide virtual Wawa Welcome America festival, the Museum will be offering family-friendly at-home experiences via its website and social media channels. With our Family Scavenger Hunt, explore our virtual galleries to learn about the American Revolution and its ongoing relevance. Then find objects, documents, and works of art and add up your points to see where you rank! And test your knowledge of the Revolutionary era with a multiple-choice quiz to take while exploring our Virtual Museum Tour. Our mini-lesson plan for the week will “Dissecting the Declaration” to learn more about its very words and global legacy.

Tuesday, June 30
Read the Revolution with Dr. Caitlin Fitz

Join us virtually as author and historian Dr. Caitlin Fitz discusses her recent book, Our Sister Republics: The United States in an Age of American Revolutions (W.W. Norton, Liveright 2016), in conversation with Museum President and CEO Dr. R. Scott Stephenson. Fitz will draw on sources and archives in four languages to address how citizens of the new United States compared their Revolution and republicanism with Latin America’s independence movements. Fitz is an Associate Professor of History at Northwestern University. Read the Revolution is presented by The Haverford Trust Company.

Wednesday, July 1
“History Has its Eyes on Us” with Dr. Joanne Freeman and Paul Oakley Stovall

In anticipation of the July 3rd release of Hamilton on Disney Plus, watch a conversation with Yale University historian and Hamilton expert Dr. Joanne Freeman, and Chicago-based actor and playwright Paul Oakley Stovall, who portrays George Washington in the national tour of Hamilton: An American Musical, with Museum President and CEO Dr. R. Scott Stephenson. The wide-ranging conversation will cover everything from how they fell in love with Hamilton to their thoughts on the power of history and theater, and the role of monuments in historical memory.

Thursday, July 2
Citizenship Quiz

Did you know that only one in three American citizens would be able to pass the Naturalization test that is required for U.S. citizenship, according to a recent survey? Test your knowledge of American history and government with our Citizenship Quiz, inspired by our Citizenship Initiative, which uses the Museum’s galleries to prepare Philadelphia-area immigrants for citizenship.

Thursday, July 2 from 5-6 p.m.
“The Role of Civil Society in Times of Civil Unrest” Panel Discussion

This free event is presented by the African American Museum in Philadelphia, World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, and the Museum of the American Revolution.
As we approach July 4th, three leading civic organizations in Philadelphia come together to discuss the importance of civil society—that “third sector,” distinct from government and business. What is the role of civil society in times of civil unrest? Do civic organizations have a deliberative role in peace building and conflict resolution? How can these organizations work to bring people together to not only have the hard conversations, but also commit to the often-harder act of listening? Join a virtual conversation with Dr. R. Scott Stephenson, the Museum's President & CEO, Ivan Henderson, Vice President of Programming of the African American Museum in Philadelphia, and Craig Snyder, President and CEO of the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia.

Friday, July 3 at 8 p.m.
Hamilton Watch Party

On July 3, tune into Disney Plus for the premiere of Hamilton, a film adaptation of the Broadway smash hit musical. Follow along on Twitter starting at 8 p.m. as our curators and historians share historical commentary on the film. The Museum will also be sharing Hamilton-related activities on its website and social channels, including an Eliza and Alexander Hamilton paper doll activity and a virtual “walking tour” that explores the city of Philadelphia when Hamilton called it home.

Saturday, July 4
Independence Day

Dig deeper with Q&A with our Chief Historian and Director of Curatorial Affairs Dr. Philip Mead in the Philadelphia Inquirer about whether the Declaration of Independence is relevant today and what the "promise of the American Revolution" means.

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