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A Capitol Fourth 2010

Airs Sunday, July 4, 2010 at 8 & 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: The renowned National Symphony Orchestra performs at the nation's biggest birthday party, "A Capitol Fourth," airing live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actor Jimmy Smits hosts the country's biggest and brightest birthday party, live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.
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Above: Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actor Jimmy Smits hosts the country's biggest and brightest birthday party, live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

This July 4, America’s biggest and brightest birthday party celebrates 30 spectacular years on air.

The multi-award winning "A Capitol Fourth" will be hosted by Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actor Jimmy Smits, with unrivaled performances by some of the country’s best-known musicians, including seven time Grammy Award-winning music legend Gladys Knight; multiple Grammy, CMA and ACM Award-winning country music superstar Reba McEntire; country music sensation Darius Rucker; singer David Archuleta ("American Idol"); actor and singer John Schneider; and renowned classical pianist Lang Lang with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly.

Test Your Knowledge of the 4th

The story of our nation's founding is filled with larger-than-life personalities and fascinating events. Try taking one of these fun, short quizzes to test your knowledge of the 4th — then and now.

"A Capitol Fourth" will air live in HD from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol before a concert audience of hundreds of thousands, millions more at home and to our service members around the world on the American Forces Network.

Photographing Fireworks

Get tips on photographing fireworks displays from Smithsonian Institution photographers.

Bringing viewers the most spectacular fireworks display anywhere in the nation, the 30th annual broadcast of "A Capitol Fourth" will capture the stunning pyrotechnics from every vantage point with 18 TV cameras stationed around the city — including the U.S. Capitol, the White House, the Washington Monument and across the Potomac River.

In tribute to America’s 234th birthday, the show will be capped off with a rousing rendition of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” complete with live cannon fire provided by the United States Army Presidential Salute Battery, an audience favorite and now "A Capitol Fourth" tradition.

"A Capitol Fourth" is on Facebook.

Video

Preview: A Capitol Fourth 2010

Above: Hosted by Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actor Jimmy Smits, "A Capitol Fourth" will feature performances from some of the country's biggest musical names including: multiple Grammy, CMA and ACM Award-winning country music superstar Reba McEntire; country music sensation Darius Rucker (Hootie & the Blowfish); as well as world-renowned classical pianist Lang Lang with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly.

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