Bicentennial News

Bicentennial News features reports about the American Revolution Bicentennial in Pennsylvania, including programs, events and publications of PHMC, as well as projects and activities of the Bicentennial Commission of Pennsylvania, county historical societies and other institutions.

Ambitious Bicentennial Programs Underway

Progress that is being made in implementing the Bi­centennial Commission’s slate of statewide programs and the enthusiasm being shown by community groups in undertaking ambitious projects at the local level have combined to produce a fitting Bicentennial celebration in the Commonwealth, according to Lt. Gov. Ernest P. Kline, chairman of the Bicentennial Commission of Penn­sylvania.

Lieutenant Governor Kline noted that “Pennsylvanians can point with pride to the efforts being made on behalf of the Bicentennial celebration in the Commonwealth.” He added: “Those efforts reflect the willingness of untold num­bers of Pennsylvanians to give freely of themselves.”

“The key role that Pennsylvania played in the Revolu­tion,” Lieutenant Governor Kline noted, “makes us all more appreciative of our heritage and anxious to make personal contributions to the Bicentennial celebration.”

“The major factor in determining the character of the Bicentennial celebration in the Commonwealth,” said the Lieutenant Governor, “has been the desire of untold numbers of Pennsylvanians to participate in Bicentennial activi­ties in their communities.”

As a part of a nationwide program being conducted by the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration in co­operation with the Bicentennial Commission of Pennsyl­vania, over 300 communities within the Commonwealth have gained recognition as national Bicentennial Communi­ties to date. To be approved under the guidelines set forth for the program each participating community must demon­strate that it has a comprehensive Bicentennial program that recalls the nation’s heritage, encourages the participation of all Americans and visitors, commemorates the nation’s past by looking to the future, and provides at least one lasting reminder of the Bicentennial celebration.


Lectures Scheduled

Public lectures by nationally prominent scholars and public figures will be offered at many locations around the State as part of the Bicentennial project, “Freedom: Then, Now, and Tomorrow.” All lectures will begin at 8:00 p.m.

Lecturers include:

Dr. Thomas C. Cochran, director of the Bicentennial College of the University of Pennsylvania, where he is also Benjamin Franklin professor emeritus of history. He will lecture April 7 [1976] at Albright College Chapel Auditorium on “Freedom and the Economy.” Sponsors are Albright College, Kutztown State College, Alvernia College and Reading Area Community College, in association with the Berks and Schuylkill Campuses of The Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Harold Rosenberg, New Yorker magazine, will speak on “Freedom and the Arts” April 13 [1976] in the Administration Building at Seton Hill College, sponsored by Seton Hill College, Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, in association with the McKeesport Campus of Penn State.

Dr. Paul K. Conkin, professor of history at the University of Wisconsin. He will lecture on “Freedom: Past Meanings and Future Prospects” April 29 [1976] at Harrisburg Area Community College. Sponsors are Harrisburg Area Community Col­lege, York College, Franklin and Marshall College, Gettys­burg College, Lebanon Valley College, Dickinson College, Millersville State College, Messiah College and Dickinson School of Law, in association with Penn State’s York and Capitol Campuses.

Dr. Victor Ferkiss, professor of government, Georgetown University. He will lecture on “Creating Chosen Futures: The New Meaning of Freedom in America’s Third Century” May 6 [1976] at Gannon College’s Zurn Science Building. Sponsors are Gannon College, Allegheny College, Edinboro College, Mercyhurst College and Villa Maria College, in association with Behrend College of Penn State.

Other lectures are scheduled, but the dates are to be announced.

The Bicentennial project also includes a series of more than 1,000 town meetings around Pennsylvania to increase individual awareness of the foundations of our freedoms and their meaning as a basis for making sound decisions on public policy issues; a convocation on freedom in Philadelphia; and a major book on freedom in America.

“Freedom: Then, Now, and Tomorrow” is conducted as a continuing education program of the Department of History in the College of Liberal Arts at Penn State, under the general supervision of the Office of the Vice President for Continuing Education at Penn State. It has been endorsed by the Pennsylvania Federation of Women’s Clubs, whose local chapters will assist with varying degrees of involve­ment in parts of the project. It has also been endorsed as an official Penn State Bicentennial project by The Pennsyl­vania State University Bicentennial Commission and is a reg­istered project of the Bicentennial Commission of Pennsylvania and the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration.

Funds have been provided by the Public Committee for the Humanities in Pennsylvania (an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities) and the Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania.


DAR’s Bicentennial Gift

The State Daughters of the American Revolution donated a Colonial Meeting Room as its Bicentennial gift to the State. Mrs. Coray H. Miller is State regent.

The Room, officially opened in ceremonies held Febru­ary 29 [1976], is located in the William Penn Memorial Museum. Visitors will find it on the First Floor in the Left Rear Gallery of Memorial Hall.

The room is a scaled-down Quaker meeting house of na­tural wood. The DAR’s gift included antique lumber to build the room, the purchase of sconces for the walls and a walnut stretcher-based table.

The meeting-house benches in the room are a Bicenten­nial gift of the Willistown Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, Goshen Road, White Horse.