The Fourth of July

On Tuesday, July 4th, at 1:30 p.m. actors from the Williamstown Theatre Festival once again will give a public reading of the Declaration of Independence, the September 1776 British reply to the Declaration, and the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution. Also to be read, for the first time at the annual Chapin Library event, will be selections from the July 1852 speech by Frederick Douglass, “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro”.

The actors this year will be Hiram Delgado (appearing in The Model American), Jessica Hecht (The Clean House), LeRoy McClain (Where Storms Are Born), Laila Robins (The Model American), and Bernie White (The Clean House).

Weather permitting, the Williamstown Theatre Festival actors will speak from the loggia of Sawyer Library (the west balcony of Stetson Hall at Williams College). In case of rain, the event will be held in the atrium of Sawyer Library. Admission is free.

The Chapin Library’s collection of original Founding Documents of the United States is on permanent display in the Chapin Gallery (Sawyer 406). The Library will be open on July 4th from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m., and again after the readings from 2:00 to 3:00. Staff will be on hand to answer questions.

Also on display at this time in the Special Collections galleries are two exhibitions on the Geosciences, marking 200 years of teaching Geology at Williams College; treasures from the Chapin Library; and Audubon’s Birds of America in the original double elephant folio edition. – WGH

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