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Press Release: March Highlights

February 23, 2017

Filed under Charter Day, Events, Pennsylvania State Archives, Planetarium, Solar Superstorms, Storytime

Charter Day 2017

The State Museum of Pennsylvania today announced its program schedule for March 2017:

StoryTime: Fire Engine No. 9 by Mike Austin Friday, March 3 10:00 AM

Join us in the Transportation & Industry Gallery as we listen to Fire Engine No. 9 by Mike Austin. We will also discover the Museum’s steam operated fire truck and compare older fire engines to those of today.  We will cap off the story by assembling a giant 4-foot-long fire engine floor puzzle. StoryTime is our popular reading series for children aged 3 to 5.  Each session is held in one of our galleries and is followed by a related play activity or hands-on exploration of artifacts. StoryTime is included with general admission.

Learn at Lunchtime: Pennsylvania Charter Friday, March 10 12:15 – 1:15 PM

Join an archivist from the Pennsylvania State Archives as we learn about the Commonwealth’s 336th birthday and William Penn’s original copy of the 1681 Charter, the document that granted the land of Pennsylvania to William Penn. This event is included with admission to the Museum.

Charter Day, Sunday, March 12 Noon – 5:00 PM

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) will celebrate the commonwealth’s 336th birthday on Charter Day, Sunday, March 12. This special day offers visitors to The State Museum of Pennsylvania the rare opportunity to see the original Pennsylvania Charter written in 1681. 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 Pennsylvania Charter will remain on display through 1:00 PM, Friday, March 17. For the remainder of the year, the Charter is safeguarded in a special vault within the Pennsylvania State Archives.

Admission to The State Museum is free on Charter Day, Sunday, March 12, and includes visits to the Planetarium, the Curiosity Connection, and galleries. Free tickets are required for the Planetarium and the Curiosity Connection. Additionally, State Museum archaeologists will be talking about petroglyphs from 12:00 noon to 4:00 PM in Nature Lab. Petroglyphs are images carved into rock surfaces. These consist of lines, dots, human, animal, supernatural and symbolic designs and afford a rare glimpse into the minds of ancient Native Americans.

In addition to the Charter, the Archives will also display the original Great Law, passed between December 4 and 7, 1682, during the General Assembly’s first session.

The Great Law is a series of statutes that provided a stable groundwork for Pennsylvania’s representative government. Among other things, it addressed elections and taxation, and it guaranteed a greater degree of religious freedom than any other legal code of its day. Like the Charter, the Great Law is fragile and rarely displayed. It is on view this year in honor of the 335th anniversary of the General Assembly.

The Planetarium at The State Museum of Pennsylvania: The planetarium is offering two shows from March 4 through June 4:

Solar Superstorms (grade 6 and up):

A fury is building on the surface of the sun: high-velocity jets, a fiery tsunami wave that reaches 100,000 kilometers high and rising loops of electrified gas. What’s driving these strange phenomena? How will they affect planet Earth? Find the answers as we venture into the seething interior of our star. Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch

March 1 to March 17 Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at 11:00 AM

March 1 through June 4 Saturday at 11:00 AM & 1:30 PM, Sunday at 1:30 PM

Compass, Calendar, and Clock (grade 6 and up)

As our ancients learned, the sky is not just a thing of beauty… it is our window for the position of our planet. Understanding how our planet is aligned with the distant stars allows anyone to use the sky as a compass, a calendar, and a clock. This traditionally-styled show asks the questions . . . How can you use the Moon tell time? How does the Sun help us find directions? See how mankind has used the sky to tell time, track yearly cycles, and find direction. Come learn how to use the sky yourself!

This is a production of the Jenks Planetarium of the Jenks Public School District.

        March 1 through March 17 Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at 1:00 PM

March 1 through June 4 Saturday at 11:30 AM & 2:00 PM, Sunday at 2:00 PM

Planetarium shows are $3 per person in addition to general admission. Planetarium admission is free to members of the State Museum Affiliate and the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation.

The State Museum of Pennsylvania, adjacent to the State Capitol in Harrisburg, is one of 24 historic sites and museums administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission as part of the Pennsylvania Trails of History. The State Museum offers expansive collections interpreting Pennsylvania’s fascinating heritage. With exhibits examining the dawn of geologic time, the Native American experience, the colonial and revolutionary eras, a pivotal Civil War battleground, and the commonwealth’s vast industrial age, The State Museum demonstrates that Pennsylvania’s story is America’s story.

Museum hours are Wednesday through Saturday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Sunday 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM.  Admission is $7 for adults (ages 12-64), $6 for senior citizens (ages 65 and up), and $5 for children (ages 1-11).

MEDIA CONTACT: Howard Pollman, 717-705-8639

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