The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC) celebrated the commonwealth’s 340th birthday on Charter Day, Sunday, March 7, with a virtual display of William Penn’s original 1681 charter and other programming from the Pennsylvania State Archives and the Pennsylvania Trails of History.
Pennsylvania was created when England’s King Charles II granted a charter to William Penn in 1681. Once each year, the Pennsylvania State Archives exhibits the original document for a limited time. The 340-year-old Charter is written on parchment using iron gall ink. The State Archives preserves the document in a high-security vault, shielding it from strong light and environmental fluctuations.
Beginning Sunday, March 7 and continuing through Friday, March 12, virtual visitors to the Charter Day 2021 landing page will be able to view the charter and find out more about how the Charter ended up at PHMC and how we care for it. In addition, they can “tour” the Violet Oakley murals of William Penn, Pennsylvania’s founder, featured in the Governor’s Reception Room at the Capitol, explore colonial-era documents or “virtually” page through more than 45 years of Pennsylvania Heritage magazine for articles exploring all aspects of Pennsylvania’s 340-year history and much more.
Participating sites include Cornwall Iron Furnace, Eckley Miners Village, Ephrata Cloister, Erie Maritime Museum, Hope Lodge, Joseph Priestley House, Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum, Pennsbury Manor, Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum, Pennsylvania Lumber Museum, Pennsylvania Military Museum and The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission is the official history agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Learn more online.
NATURE NUGGET: The old Beatles song has these very appropriate lyrics for now: “…..the sun is up, the sky is blue, it’s beautiful……” The great seasonal engine has shifted gears and spring has been slowly sliding in. There are plenty of seasonal changes that you could see including: Canada geese honking overhead in massive V formations, skunks are out and about and in a family way, birds are singing longer and louder, snowdrops are up and daffodils are popping up. They say that spring travels north. That means your cousin living in Lancaster will see spring before you do all the way up the line in Carbondale.
“Porcupine Pat” McKinney is environmental education coordinator for the Schuylkill Conservation District and provides programming for people of all ages with an emphasis on schools, public programming and nature center development. “Porcupine Pat” hails from Marion, Ohio and has a BS with Distinction in Natural Resources – Environmental Interpretation from Ohio State. He is a recipient of the prestigious Sandy Cochran Award for Excellence in Natural Resources Education from the PA Forestry Association, the Schuylkill Pride Award, and the PAEE “Outstanding Environmental Educator Award.”