The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission will celebrate the commonwealth’s 339th birthday on Charter Day. This special day offers visitors to The State Museum of Pennsylvania the rare opportunity to see William Penn’s original 1681 Charter.
England’s King Charles II used the Charter to grant the land that is now Pennsylvania to founder William Penn. This document is sometimes referred to as Pennsylvania’s “birth certificate” and was Penn’s personal copy. The Charter will remain on display through 12 noon, Friday, March 15. For the remainder of the year, the Charter is safeguarded in a special vault within the Pennsylvania State Archives.
In honor of the 150th anniversary of the passage of the 15th Amendment, the Pennsylvania State Archives will also exhibit two rarely seen documents: Pennsylvania’s Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery (1780) and the state’s ratification of the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1869), which ensured the right of Americans to vote, regardless of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”
Admission to The State Museum is free on Charter Day, Sunday, March 8, and includes visits to the Planetarium, the Curiosity Connection and galleries. Free admission to the Planetarium and Curiosity Connection is limited. Timed tickets are available at the Front Desk.