With regret, Kay Olson Freeman submits these thoughts on the idea of celebrating
the 250th Anniversary of American Independence. -Editor
Concerning the proposal to celebrate 250th Anniversary of 1776 Independence in Philadelphia, not
mentioned was the 1926 Sesquicentennial (150th Anniversary) celebration in Philadelphia. No one
talks about it because it was a complete financial failure.
I do not know what was happening in Philadelphia in 1976. I was living in New York City then and
its 1976 (200th) celebration was great - tall ships in the harbor and Hudson River etc. That was a
party. There is a distinction between an anniversary party celebration and a World's Fair.
The 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia was quite different and its purpose was more than
a commemoration of US Independence. At Expositions, Exhibitions or World's Fairs, countries
competed to show their manufactures and arts.
The last World's Fair to excite wonder and amazement was New York 1939-1940. I do not think
that can be recaptured today - for many reasons. As for celebrating Independence in 2026, in
Philadelphia - I am sure something will be done in acknowledgement, but without the same feeling as
1876. It is said no one knows or cares about history now. (Obviously, I am not referring to
E-Sylum readers and participants!)
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
U.S. SEMIQUINCENTENNIAL CELEBRATION
PLANNERS WANTED (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v17n43a20.html)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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