Executive Director’s Message

From the Executive Director features news and reflections on the work of PHMC by its chief administrator.

Pennsylvania was truly the “Birthplace of a Nation” as was Valley Forge the birthplace of a disciplined revolu­tionary fighting force which made a new nation a reality. Today, Valley Forge stands as a symbol of the hardships, sufferings and the determinations of men who brought about our independence. Valley Forge is known to all Americans and, as In.dependence Hall, is revered as a most significant shrine of the American Revolution.

Since 1892, the State of Pennsylvania has provided for the preservation and operation of Valley Forge State Park. It has done well in this regard through the efforts of con­cerned Governors and Legislators. Secretaries of Forest and Waters, and the men and women who have served on the Valley Forge State Park Commission and the Pennsyl­vania Historical and Museum Commission. Those who shared official responsibility for the preservation of Valley Forge could not, however, have fulfilled their responsi­bilities if it were not for the expressed concern and the support of the people of Pennsylvania and of the Nation.

On July 4, 1976, the Bicentennial of our nation at Valley Forge State Park, President Ford, in the presence of Governor Shapp and thousands of citizens from through­out the United States, signed legislation which authorized the federal government to accept responsibility for the continued preservation of Valley Forge State Park. Just one year earlier, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed and Governor Shapp approved state legislation to authorize a transfer of the Park to federal custody.

The actions of both Pennsylvania and the United States Government have authorized the most significant contribu­tion to the preservation of our historic heritage resulting from our Bicentennial. Pennsylvania will not lose Valley Forge but all Americans will be given an opportunity to share responsibility for one of the most cherished sites in American history. Valley Forge will have the distinction of a National Historic Monument – a designation it so richly deserves. It will be held in trust for future generations by all Americans.

William J. Wewer
Executive Director