William Penn Memorial Museum Events

News presents briefs about current and forthcoming programs, events, exhibits and activities of historical and cultural institutions in Pennsylvania.

William Penn’s Birthday

For the eighth successive year an historical festival is planned to commemorate the birthday of William Penn. The event will be held October 24, 1975 – the 331st annual celebration of William Penn’s Birthday.

This year’s festival will include student groups from various schools as well as representatives of the Pennsyl­vania Federation of Junior Historians. Students will exhibit folk arts, display Pennsylvania history projects, demonstrate colonial crafts. and perform dramatic skits with a particular focus on Bicentennial celebrations. There will also be ethnic music productions.

The program will be coordinated by the Division of Arts and Humanities of the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Bureau of Archives and History of the Pennsyl­vania Historical and Museum Commission.


Black Arts Film Festival

The Black Arts Film Festival 1975 included two classic films shown in August. The films were St. Louis Blues, a 25-minute black-and-white film made in 1929, and “Song of Freedom,” a 70-minute black-and-white film made in 1938. The films featured Bessie Smith and Paul Robeson respectively.


Oral History Conference

On Friday, October 10, 1975, the Pennsyl­vania Historical and Museum Commission in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Federation of Women’s Clubs, the Pennsyl­vania Federation of Historical Societies and high school teachers, will hold a one-day oral history conference at the William Penn Memorial Museum.

The objectives are to heighten an awareness of the values of oral history in studying the local community and to demonstrate the techniques and skills essential in developing a successful oral history program.

Participants will be offered a choice of five works hops il­lustrating various types of oral history projects including ethnic history, school publications, Bicentennial programs, and feminist history.

The Arts and Humanities Division of the Pennsylvania Department of Education has assisted in planning the pro­gram and identifying consultants.

Persons interested in attending may contact Carl Oblinger, Box 1026, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg 17120.


Garment Union Exhibit

The International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union re­cently exhibited a history of the union in photographs. The exhibit was held to commemorate the seventy-fifth anniversary for alumnae.


Flag Mystery Solved

Two flags that have puzzled historians of the Revolution­ary War for a century have been restored in a Bicentennial project for the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Com­mission.

The flags were used by the First Continental Regiment, formerly Thompson’s Pennsylvania Rifle Battalion, generally of South Central Pennsylvania and John Proctor’s West­moreland County Battalion.

J. Duncan Campbell, director of the William Penn Mem­orial Museum, said that historians had questioned the re­versed “p” for Pennsylvania in “1st P.M.” The removal of old newspapers, used as backing for the flag for a Centennial exhibit, showed the opposite panel of the flag depicting the letters correctly, Campbell noted.

A similar discovery occurred, Campbell added, with the flag of Proctor’s Westmoreland Battalion where the hidden side showed reversed lettering. Not knowing about the double panel resulted in a display of the reversed side of the Thompson flag since the Centennial.

The two restored flags will form part of a Bicentennial exhibit of flags associated with Pennsylvania to be presented at the William Penn Memorial Museum later this year.


Exhibit Features Women

A special exhibit for International Women’s Year opened in the State Capitol rotunda and was then featured in the William Penn Memorial Museum.

The exhibit, featuring ninety women, was designed by Suzanne Haney, a Philadelphia philatelist and collector. Ms. Haney has specialized in collecting women’s materials for twenty years.

The Pennsylvania Commission for Women sponsored the exhibit to honor significant contributions women have made and are making to their nation’s cultural, social, political and economic life. The exhibit also commemorated women’s contributions to the three goals of International Women’s Year; Peace, Equality and Development.


Educational Radio Show

Two employes and a volunteer at the William Penn Memorial Museum recently participated in an educational program on Radio Station WKBO, Harrisburg.

Emily Giffen of the Earth Science Section of the Divi­sion of Geology and Sally Dieffenbacher of the Registrar’s Office as well as Matilda Learner, volunteer, participated.

The theme of the program was to present ways the mu­seum serves as an educational institution to meet the pub­lic’s needs.

Dr. Giffen, a specialist in paleontology, plays cello, while Mrs. Dieffenbacher plays harpsichord during noon-hour concerts in the Queen Anne Room of the museum.


Kahn Exhibit Featured

Work of the late Louis I. Kahn of Philadelphia, world re­nowned architect, was shown recently at the William Penn Memorial Museum.

Included in the exhibit was a model of the proposed Pocono Arts Center, the last work completed by Kahn. Gov. Milton J. Shapp had unveiled the model for its first public showing at the Capitol. It was moved to the State Museum after a week’s showing in the Capitol rotunda.

In addition to the model, drawings, photographs and medals won by Kahn comprised the exhibit.


Kunkel Exhibit Held

Clothing of a Harrisburg boy destined to become a United States Congressman was displayed during the late summer months at the William Penn Memorial Museum.

Suits worn by the late United States Representative John C. Kunkel as a boy of six or seven years as well as a large portrait were displayed. Other clothing from the late nine­teenth and early twentieth centuries worn by the Congress­man’s parents and ancestors was included.

Mrs. John C. Kunkel III of Lemoyne, the Congressman’s widow, presented the almost perfectly preserved clothing to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.