The Full Wiki

More info on United States Bicentennial

United States Bicentennial: Map


Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:

The United States Bicentennial was celebrated on Sunday, July 4, 1976, the 200th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.


In October 1973, the Treasury announced an open contest to select suitable designs for the quarter, half dollar, and silver dollar. Over 1,000 designs were submitted. The quarter dollar featured a colonial drummer and a torch encircled by thirteen stars, designed by Jack L. Ahr. The half dollar has Independence Hallmarker on it, designed by Seth G. Huntington. On the silver dollar, designed by Dennis R. Williams, was the Liberty Bellmarker superimposed over the Moon. These coins bore the date "1776-1976". The U.S. Postal Service issued several postage stamps to commemorate the 200th anniversary of various national events connected to the U.S. Bicentennial. It was also the first time in the history of the United States Postal Service that they provided service at select post offices throughout the country on a Sunday.


A special Bicentennial Flag, with a white background and the official Bicentennial Star Emblem, was also displayed or flown as part of honor guards and flag poles throughout the United States during the Bicentennial era, usually to the left or below the American Flag.


Official Bicentennial events actually began more than one year earlier. On April 1, 1975 the American Freedom Train opened in Wilmington, DE to start its 21 month, 25,388 mile tour of the 48 contiguous states. On April 18, 1975 President Gerald Ford came to Bostonmarker to light a third lantern at the historic Old North Churchmarker, symbolizing America's third century. The next day he delivered a major speech commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concordmarker in Massachusetts, which began the American Revolution against British colonial rule. A "US Bicentennial" postage stamp featuring a painting of the battles by Henry Sandham (1842-1912) was issued that same day to commemorate the milestone.

Festivities included elaborate fireworks displays in the skies above major American cities. Those in Washington, D.C.marker were presided over by President Ford and televised nationally. A large international fleet of tall-masted sailing ships gathered first in New York Citymarker on the Fourth of July and then in Bostonmarker about one week later. These nautical parades, witnessed by several million observers, were named Operation Sail (Op Sail) and this was the second of five such Op Sail events to date (1964, 1976, 1986, 1992 and 2000). The vessels docked and allowed the general public to board the ships in both cities, while their sailors were entertained on shore at various ethnic celebrations and parties.

As the celebration of the Boston Tea Partymarker happened in Boston, a large crowd gathered for the "People's Bi-Centennial". Several people threw packages labelled "Gulf Oil" and "Exxon" into Boston Harbor in symbolic opposition to corporate power.

Queen Elizabeth II of United Kingdommarker and her husband, Prince Philip, made a special state visit to the USA to tour the country and attend Bicentennial festivities with President and Mrs. Ford. Their visit aboard the Royal Yacht Britanniamarker included stops in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Virginia, New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

Local observances included painting mailboxes and fire hydrants red, white, and blue. A wave of patriotism and nostalgia swept the nation and there was a general feeling that the irate era of the Vietnam War and the Watergate constitutional crisis of 1974 had finally come to an end.

In Washington, D.C., the Smithsonian Institutionmarker opened a long-term exhibition in its Arts and Industries Buildingmarker that replicated the look and feel of the 1876 Centennial Exposition of the United States. Many of its museum belongings actually dated from the 1876 World's Fair exposition in Philadelphia that commemorated the 100th anniversary of the independence of the USA. The Smithsonian also opened the permanent exhibition hall for the National Air and Space Museummarker on July 1, 1976.

NASAmarker commemorated the Bicentennial by staging a science and technology exhibit housed in a series of geodesic domes in the parking lot of the Vehicle Assembly Buildingmarker (VAB) called Third Century America. An American flag and the Bicentennial emblem were also painted on the side of the VAB; the emblem remained until 1998, when it was painted over with the NASA insignia. NASA originally planned for Viking 1 to land on Mars on July 4, but the landing was delayed to a later date.
Many commercial products were marketed in packages tying them to the Bicentennial, usually distinguished by red, white, and blue coloring. The official Bicentennial star emblem was trademarked and only allowed to be used on products by paid license.

Disneylandmarker temporarily replaced the Main Street Electrical Parade with America on Parade and featured the Sherman Brothers' song "The Glorious Fourth". The parade featured nightly fireworks and ran twice a day from 1975-1977.

John Warner, later elected to the United States Senate from Virginiamarker, was director of the Federal office coordinating observances of the Bicentennial.

The State of New Jersey ran a special "Bicentennial Lottery". The winner was awarded $1,776 a week (before taxes) for 20 years (A total of $1,847,040).

The USOC initiated two American bids to host both the 1976 Summer and Winter Olympic Games to celebrate Bicentennial. Los Angelesmarker bid for the 1976 Olympics but lost to Montreal, Canadamarker. Denvermarker was awarded the 1976 Olympic Winter Games in 1970, but due to rising costs, the state of Coloradomarker voted to back out of its organizational commitments and the IOCmarker rewarded the 1976 Winter Olympics to Innsbruck, Austriamarker, host of 1964. As a result, there was no American Olympics in 1976 (however Lake Placidmarker would go on to host the 1980 Winter Olympics, and Los Angelesmarker would eventually be awarded the 1984 Olympics.

As site of the Continental Congress and signing of the Declaration of Independence, Philadelphiamarker was selected to host the 1976 NBA All-Star Game, the 1976 National Hockey League All-Star Game, the 1976 NCAA Final Four, and the 1976 Major League Baseball All-Star Game at which President Ford threw out the first-pitch.

On this day, in the City of Rome, Georgia (USA), the U.S. Air Force inducted a "bicentennial" flight of new airmen into federal military service. The ceremony was held at the Rome City Auditorium, and concluded with the flight of inductees boarding a charter bus, bound for the Atlanta Airport, and continuing on to San Antonio, Texas, where their military career would begin. This group of young airmen were from Rome, Rockmart, Cedartown, and other surrounding areas.

The Bicentennial on television

Related network television programs aired July 3-4, 1976

Saturday morning Bicentennial programs

In the months approaching the Bicentennial, Schoolhouse Rock, a series of educational cartoon shorts running on ABC between programs on Saturday mornings, created a sub-series called "History Rock," although the official name was "America Rock." The ten segments covered various aspects of American history and government. Several of the segments, most notably one dealing with the preamble of the Constitution put to music, have become some of Schoolhouse Rock's most popular segments.

And in 1975, CBS did its bit on Saturday morning with a new animated Archie series, The U.S. of Archie; unfortunately, that version was unsuccessful, and was off the air by September 1976.


Image:Amerigo_vespucci_1976_nyc_aufgetakelt.jpg|Italian tall ship Amerigo Vespucci in New Yorkmarker Harbor during the celebration.Image:Santa Fe SD-45-2 5704.jpg|A Santa Fe Railroad locomotive painted in Bicentennial colors in 1976.Image:VAB aerial 1977.jpg|NASA's Vehicle Assembly Buildingmarker in 1977. Dark circles mark where domes stood for Third Century America.Image:George Washington bicentennial quarter, reverse.jpg|Reverse of the Bicentennial quarter, minted 1975-1976.Image:Kennedy200coinback.jpg|Reverse of the Bicentennial half dollar, minted 1975-1976.Image:IkeBicentBack.jpg|Reverse of the Bicentennial dollar, minted 1975-1976.

See also


  1. Zinn, Howard. A People's History of the United States. New York: Perennial, 2003. p.562 ISBN 0060528370

External links

Embed code:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address