Free museum day March 8

By on February 24, 2015

You might want to mark Sunday  March 8 on your calendar. It’s Pennsylvania Charter Day.

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) is inviting residents and visitors alike to join in the commonwealth’s 334th birthday celebration  on Charter Day with free admission to many historical sites and museums. It’s held annually to celebrate the founding of Pennsylvania and visitors are able to see the original Charter of Pennsylvania, which was written back in 1861 and used to grant the land that’s now Pa. to founder William Penn.ER20140514_CdidyouhearCloister


England’s King Charles II used the charter to grant the land that is now Pennsylvania to founder William Penn. It is sometimes referred to as Pennsylvania’s “birth certificate” and was Penn’s personal copy. “The charter is a tangible link to Pennsylvania’s founding,” said James M. Vaughan, PHMC’s executive director. “The fragile historical document is exhibited only once a year and for a very short time.”

Charter Day at Ephrata Clositer
Sunday, March 8, 12-5pm
Celebrate the birth of Pennsylvania with FREE ADMISSION to . As a special feature, the Historic Ephrata Cloister will  have demonstrators on site and you can see  the Ephrata Cloister Chorus will perform at 2:00pm, 3:00pm, and 4:00pm.

See Larry Alexander’s story on  on the Ephrata Cloister museum:

Free museumHere’s a list of Charter Day activities available to visitors of The State Museum:
• In honor of the 50th anniversary of The State Museum and Archives Complex, PHMC preservation architect Andrea Lowery will offer a talk on Midcentury Modern architecture and the significance of the complex, opened in 1965 and recently placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
• Guests can meet “William Penn,” portrayed by William C. Kashatus, and hear tales of bygone days told by storyteller “Pennsylvania Jack,” performed by John T. Graham.
• Dan Lynch from the Pennsylvania Game Commission will demonstrate how conservation officers identify crimes against wildlife and protect the commonwealth’s animal population.
• The Victorian Dance Ensemble will perform.
• PHMC staff and professionals from central Pennsylvania’s many historical societies will be available to answer questions. Pennsylvania’s 2014 National History Day winners will also attend.
In addition to programming at The State Museum, many historic sites and museums along PHMC’s Trails of History will offer free admission on March 8, 2015.
Participating museums and historic sites include:
• Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum, Scranton
• Brandywine Battlefield Park, Chadds Ford
• Conrad Weiser Homestead, Womelsdorf
• Cornwall Iron Furnace, Cornwall
• Daniel Boone Homestead, Birdsboro
• Drake Well Museum, Titusville
• Eckley Miners’ Village, Weatherly
• Ephrata Cloister, Ephrata
• Erie Maritime Museum & Flagship Niagara, Erie
• Fort Pitt Museum, Pittsburgh
• Graeme Park, Horsham
• Hope Lodge, Ft. Washington
• Joseph Priestley House, Northumberland
• Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum, Lancaster
• Old Economy Village, Ambridge
• Pennsbury Manor, Morrisville
• Pennsylvania Military Museum, Boalsburg
• Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, Strasburg
• Washington Crossing Historic Park, Washington Crossing

For more information on Charter Day 2015, visit
Media contact: Howard Pollman, 717-705-86

PHMC’s 16th Annual Charter Day will be held Sunday, March 8th, from 12:00 noon – 4:00 p.m. at The State Museum of Pennsylvania. The Charter and related materials will be on display from March 6 – March 16. Admission is free for Charter Day, March 8th only. Numerous attractions are planned for the day, such as:

  • Original 1681 charter that granted the land of Pennsylvania to William Penn and guest documents featuring architectural renderings of The State Museum and Archives Complex
  • Local historical and genealogical organization exhibitions
  • Presentations by William Penn & Pennsylvania Jack
  • Civil War Dance Ensemble50th_logo_color
  • Interpreters of Pennsylvania history
  • The National History Day in Pennsylvania state winners from 2014
  • Open the new Nature Lab by joining the PA Game Commission’s Dan Lynch for a special program, Animal CSI
  • Celebrating the 50 years of The State Museum and Archives Complex, PHMC Preservation Architect Andrea Lowery will give a talk on Mid-century Modern Architecture and the significance of The State Museum and Archives Complex
  • Join Ms. Lowery and Beth Hager, PHMC Director of Strategic Initiatives, on a brief tour of the complex
  • AstronautThe planetarium show, Astronaut, will be offered every half-hour till 4:00 p.m. Planetarium shows are free for Charter Day, but space is limited and offered on a first come, first served basis.
  • Curiosity Connection is also available, but timed-tickets will be required for 45 minutes of play (tickets available in the Museum Lobby).
  • The Museum Store will be offering special discounts throughout the day, including half-off Charter facsimiles .



Individuals who need special assistance should call (717) 787-6778 or, for individuals with hearing-related disabilities, the Pennsylvania TDD relay service at (800) 654-5984.






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