Friday, February 22, 2013

Celebrate Pennsylvania's 332nd Birthday - Charter Day - March 10, 2013

The original Penn Charter, which established Pennsylvania, was issued by Charles II to William Penn in 1681, and is sometimes referred to as the state's "birth certificate." The State Museum of Pennsylvania, in Harrisburg, will display Penn's personal copy of the Charter for one week beginning on Charter Day, Sunday, March 10.

“The charter is a tangible link to Pennsylvania’s founding,” James M. Vaughan, PHMC executive director said. “The fragile historical document is exhibited only once a year and for a very short time in special protective cases with low light and controlled temperature and humidity levels.”

Also on display will be a Civil War era note written by Governor Andrew Curtin on June 16, 1863, ordering the defense of Pennsylvania’s border from “the Rebel Invader." The document underscores the anxious days just before the Battle of Gettysburg, as General Lee’s Confederate army crossed the Mason-Dixon Line.

The Charter and Curtin document will be exhibited from March 10 to March 17 at the State Museum in Harrisburg.

In addition to The State Museum’s programming, many historic sites and museums along PHMC’s Pennsylvania Trails of History® will offer free admission on March 10.

Participating sites include:

Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum

Brandywine Battlefield Park

Bushy Run Battlefield

Conrad Weiser Homestead

Cornwall Iron Furnace

Daniel Boone Homestead

Drake Well Museum

Eckley Miners’ Village

Ephrata Cloister

Erie Maritime Museum

Graeme Park

Fort Pitt Museum

Joseph Priestley House

Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum

Old Economy Village

Pennsbury Manor

Pennsylvania Military Museum

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania

Washington Crossing Historic Park

Graeme Park will be open from noon through about 3:30 (to give you time to see the house before we close at 4) for self-guided tours of the Keith House with docents in each room to answer questions and provide basic information on the history. For a complete tour, please visit us Fridays - Saturday, 10-3 or Sundays 12-3. For more information on Charter Day 2013, call 717-772-3257 or visit PHMC online at For more information on Graeme Park, contact us directly at 215-343-0965 or

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