Bicentennial Definition Example Essay

This speech Thurgood Marshall gave in 1987 was part of the constitutional bicentennial celebration. Politicians and Judges around the country were praising the “founding Fathers” for their genius at writing a document that established the guiding legal principles of the republic for generations. But Marshall was one of the few voices pointing out that the original constitution required numerous amendments and came to a crisis that required a Civil War to solve. In a time of flag waving and patriotic rhetoric, Marshall’s comments surprised many and created Front-page headlines:

Remarks of Thurgood Marshall
At The Annual Seminar
of the


In Maui, Hawaii May 6, 1987

1987 marks the 200th anniversary of the United States Constitution. A Commission has been established to coordinate the celebration. The official meetings, essay contests, and festivities have begun.

The planned commemoration will span three years, and I am told 1987 is “dedicated to the memory of the Founders and the document they drafted in Philadelphia.” Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution, First Full Year’s Report, at 7 (September 1986). we are to “recall the achievements of our Founders and the knowledge and experience that inspired them, the nature of the government they established, its origins, its character, and its ends, and the rights and privileges of citizenship, as well as its attendant responsibilities.” Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution, First Report, at 6 (September 17, 1985).

Like many anniversary celebrations, the plan for 1987 takes particular events and holds them up as the source of all the very best that has followed. Patriotic feelings will surely swell, prompting proud proclamations of the wisdom, foresight, and sense of justice shared by the Framers and reflected in a written document now yellowed with age. This is unfortunatenot the patriotism itself, but the tendency for the celebration to oversimplify, and overlook the many other events that have been instrumental to our achievements as a nation. The focus of this celebration invites a complacent belief that the vision of those who debated and compromised in Philadelphia yielded the “more perfect Union” it is said we now enjoy.

I cannot accept this invitation, for I do not believe that the meaning of the Constitution was forever “fixed” at the Philadelphia Convention. Nor do I find the wisdom, foresight, and sense of justice exhibited by the Framers particularly profound. To the contrary, the government they devised was defective from the start, requiring several amendments, a civil war, and momentous social transformation to attain the system of constitutional government, and its respect for the individual freedoms and human rights, we hold as fundamental today. When contemporary Americans cite “The Constitution,” they invoke a concept that is vastly different from what the Framers barely began to construct two centuries ago.

For a sense of the evolving nature of the Constitution we need look no further than the first three words of the document’s preamble: ‘We the People.” When the Founding Fathers used this phrase in 1787, they did not have in mind the majority of America’s citizens. “We the People” included, in the words of the Framers, “the whole Number of free Persons.” United States Constitution, Art. 1, 52 (Sept. 17, 1787).

On a matter so basic as the right to vote, for example, Negro slaves were excluded, although they were counted for representational purposes at threefifths each. Women did not gain the right to vote for over a hundred and thirty years. The 19th Amendment (ratified in 1920).

These omissions were intentional. The record of the Framers’ debates on the slave question is especially clear: The Southern States acceded to the demands of the New England States for giving Congress broad power to regulate commerce, in exchange for the right to continue the slave trade. The economic interests of the regions coalesced: New Englanders engaged in the “carrying trade” would profit from transporting slaves from Africa as well as goods produced in America by slave labor. The perpetuation of slavery ensured the primary source of wealth in the Southern States.

Despite this clear understanding of the role slavery would play in the new republic, use of the words “slaves” and “slavery” was carefully avoided in the original document. Political representation in the lower House of Congress was to be based on the population of “free Persons” in each State, plus threefifths of all “other Persons.” United States Constitution, Art. 1, 52 (Sept. 17, 1787). Moral principles against slavery, for those who had them, were compromised, with no explanation of the conflicting principles for which the American Revolutionary War had ostensibly been fought: the selfevident truths “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Declaration of independence (July 4, 1776).

It was not the first such compromise. Even these ringing phrases from the Declaration of Independence are filled with irony, for an early draft of what became that Declaration assailed the King of England for suppressing legislative attempts to end the slave trade and for encouraging slave rebellions. See Becker, The Declaration of Independence: A Study in the History of Political Ideas 147 (1942). The final draft adopted in 1776 did not contain this criticism. And so again at the Constitutional Convention eloquent objections to the institution of slavery went unheeded, and its opponents eventually consented to a document which laid a foundation for the tragic events that were to follow.

Pennsylvania’s Governor Morris provides an example. He opposed slavery and the counting of slaves in determining the basis for representation in Congress. At the Convention he objected that

“The inhabitant of Georgia [or] South Carolina who goes to the coast of Africa, and in defiance of the most sacred laws of humanity tears away his fellow creatures from their dearest connections and damns them to the most cruel bondages, shall have more votes in a Government instituted for protection of the rights of mankind, than the Citizen of Pennsylvania or New Jersey who views with a laudable horror, so nefarious a Practice.” Farrand, ad., The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, vol. 11, 222 (New Haven, Conn., 1911).

And yet Governor Morris eventually accepted the threefifths accommodation. In fact, he wrote the final draft of the Constitution, the very document the bicentennial will commemorate.

As a result of compromise, the right of the southern States to continue importing slaves was extended, officially, at least until 1808. We know that it actually lasted a good deal longer, as the Framers possessed no monopoly on the ability to trade moral principles for selfinterest. But they nevertheless set an unfortunate example. Slaves could be imported, if the commercial interests of the North were protected. To make the compromise even more palatable, customs duties would be imposed at up to ten dollars per slave as a means of raising public revenues. United States Constitution, Art. 1, 59 (Sept. 17, 1787).

No doubt it will be said, when the unpleasant truth of the history of slavery in America is mentioned during this bicentennial year, that the Constitution was a product of its times, and embodied a compromise which, under other circumstances, would not have been made. But the effects of the Framers’ compromise have remained for generations. They arose from the contradiction between guaranteeing liberty and justice to all, and denying both to Negroes.

The original intent of the phrase, “We the People,” was far too clear for any ameliorating construction. Writing for the Supreme Court in 1857, Chief Justice Taney penned the following passage in the Dred Scott case, 19 How. (60 U.S.) 393, 405, 407408 (1857). on the issue whether, in the eyes of the Framers, slaves were “constituent members of the sovereignty,” and were to be included among “We the People”:

“We think they are not, and that they are not included, and were not intended to be included…. They had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race…; and so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the Negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit…. [A]ccordingly, a Negro of the African race was regarded … as an article of property, and held, and bought and sold as such…. 100o one seems to have doubted the correctness of the prevailing opinion of the time.”

And so, nearly seven decades after the Constitutional Convention, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the prevailing opinion of the Framers regarding the rights of Negroes in America. It took a bloody

civil war

before the l3th Amendment could be adopted to abolish slavery, though not the consequences slavery would have for future Americans.

While the Union survived the civil war, the Constitution did not. In its place arose a new, more promising basis for justice and equality, the 14th Amendment, ensuring protection of the life, liberty, and property of all persons against deprivations without due process, and guaranteeing equal protection of the laws. And yet almost another century would pass before any significant recognition was obtained of the rights of black Americans to share equally even in such basic opportunities as education, housing, and employment, and to have their votes counted, and counted equally. In the meantime, blacks joined America’s military to fight its wars and invested untold hours working in its factories and on its farms, contributing to the development of this country’s magnificent wealth and waiting to share in its prosperity.

What is striking is the role legal principles have played throughout America’s history in determining the condition of Negroes. They were enslaved by law, emancipated by law, disenfranchised and segregated by law; and, finally, they have begun to win equality by law. Along the way, new constitutional principles have emerged to meet the challenges of a changing society. The progress has been dramatic, and it will continue.

The men who gathered in Philadelphia in 1787 could not have envisioned these changes. They could not have imagined, nor would they have accepted, that the document they were drafting would one day be construed by a Supreme Court to which had been appointed a woman and the descendent of an African slave. We the People” no longer enslave, but the credit does not belong to the Framers. It belongs to those who refused to acquiesce in outdated notions of “liberty,” “justice,” and “equality,” and who strived to better them.

And so we must be careful, when focusing on the events which took place in Philadelphia two centuries ago, that we not overlook the momentous events which followed, and thereby lose our proper sense of perspective. Otherwise, the odds are that for many Americans the bicentennial celebration will be little more than a blind pilgrimage to the shrine of the original document now stored in a vault in the National Archives. If we seek, instead, a sensitive understanding of the Constitution’s inherent defects, and its promising evolution through 200 years of history, the celebration of the “Miracle at Philadelphia” Bowen, Miracle at Philadelphia: The Story of the Constitutional Convention May to September 1787 (Boston 1966). will, in my view, be a far more meaningful and humbling experience. We will see that the true miracle was not the birth of the Constitution, but its life, a life nurtured through two turbulent centuries of our own making, and a life embodying much good fortune that was not.

Thus, in this bicentennial year, we may not all participate in the festivities with flagwaving fervor. Some may more quietly commemorate the suffering, struggle, and sacrifice that has triumphed over much of what was wrong with the original document, and observe the anniversary with hopes not realized and promises not fulfilled. I plan to celebrate the bicentennial of the Constitution as a living document, including the Bill of Rights and the other amendments protecting individual freedoms and human rights.

The United States Bicentennial was a series of celebrations and observances during the mid-1970s that paid tribute to historical events leading up to the creation of the United States of America as an independent republic. It was a central event in the memory of the American Revolution. The Bicentennial culminated on Sunday, July 4, 1976, with the 200th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.


The nation had always commemorated the Founding, as a gesture of patriotism and sometimes as an argument in political battles. Historian Jonathan Crider points out that in the 1850s, editors and orators both North and South claimed their region was the true custodian of the legacy of 1776, as they used the Revolution symbolically in their rhetoric.[1] Ryan, noting that the Bicentennial was celebrated a year after the United States' humiliating 1975 withdrawal from Vietnam, says the Ford administration stressed the themes of renewal and rebirth based on a restoration of traditional values, and presented a nostalgic approach to 1776 that made it seem eternally young and fresh.[2]

The plans for the Bicentennial began when Congress created the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission on July 4, 1966.[3][4][5] Initially, the Bicentennial celebration was planned as a single city exposition (titled Expo '76) that would be staged in either Philadelphia or Boston.[6] After 6½ years of tumultuous debate, the Commission recommended that there should not be a single event, and Congress dissolved it on December 11, 1973, and created the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration (ARBA), which was charged with encouraging and coordinating locally sponsored events.[7][8][9][10] David Ryan, a professor at University College Cork, notes that the Bicentennial was celebrated only a year after the humiliating withdrawal from Vietnam in 1975 and that the Ford administration stressed the themes of renewal and rebirth based on a restoration of traditional values, giving a nostalgic and exclusive reading of the American past.[11]

Ceremonial coinage[edit]

  • Reverse of the Bicentennial quarter, minted 1976.

  • Reverse of the Bicentennial half dollar, minted 1975–1976.

  • Reverse of the Bicentennial dollar (Type 1), minted 1975–1976.

  • Reverse of the Bicentennial dollar (Type 2), minted 1975–1976.


ARBA selected a logo via contest in 1974.[disputed– discuss][12] Bruce N. Blackburn, co-designer of the modernized NASA insignia used from 1975 to 1992, submitted the winning design.[13] The logo consisted of a white five-point star inside a stylized star of red, white and blue. It was encircled by the inscription American Revolution Bicentennial 1776–1976 in Helvetica Regular. The logo became a flag that flew at many government facilities throughout the United States and appeared on many other souvenirs and postage stamps issued by the Postal Service. NASA painted the logo on the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center in 1976 where it remained until 1998 when the agency replaced it with its own emblem as part of 40th anniversary celebrations.[14]

1975 events[edit]

The official Bicentennial events began April 1, 1975, when the American Freedom Train launched in Wilmington, Delaware to start its 21-month, 25,388-mile (40,858 km) tour of the 48 contiguous states. On April 18, 1975, President Gerald Ford traveled to Boston to light a third lantern at the historic Old North Church, symbolizing America's third century. The next day Ford delivered a major address commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts, which began the military aspect of the American Revolution against British colonial rule.


Festivities included elaborate fireworks in the skies above major American cities. President Ford presided over the display in Washington, D.C. which was televised nationally. A large international fleet of tall-masted sailing ships gathered first in New York City on Independence Day and then in Boston about one week later. These nautical parades were named Operation Sail (Op Sail) and witnessed by several million observers. The gathering was the second of six such Op Sail events to date (1964, 1976, 1986, 1992, 2000, and 2012). The vessels docked and allowed the general public to tour the ships in both cities, while their crews were entertained on shore at various ethnic celebrations and parties.

In addition to the presence of the 'tall ships', navies of many nations sent warships to New York harbor for an International Naval Review held the morning of July 4. President Ford sailed down the Hudson River into New York harbor aboard the guided missile cruiserUSS Wainwright to review the international fleet and receive salutes from each visiting ship, ending with a salute from the British guided missile destroyerHMS London. The review ended just above Liberty Island around 10:30 am.

Several people threw packages labeled "Gulf Oil" and "Exxon" into Boston Harbor in symbolic opposition to corporate power, in the style of the Boston Tea party.[16]

Johnny Cash was the Grand Marshall of the U.S. Bicentennial parade.[17]

Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip made a state visit to the United States to tour the country and attend Bicentennial festivities with President and Mrs. Ford. Their visit aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia included stops in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Virginia, New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

While in Philadelphia on July 6, 1976, Queen Elizabeth presented the Bicentennial Bell on behalf of the British people. The bell is a replica of the Liberty Bell, cast at the same foundry—Whitechapel Bell Foundry—and bearing the inscription "For the People of the United States of America from the People of Britain 4 July 1976 LET FREEDOM RING."[18]

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 Institution opened a long-term exhibition in its Arts and Industries Building that replicated the look and feel of the 1876 Centennial Exposition. Many of the Smithsonian's museum artifacts dated from the 1876 World's Fair in Philadelphia that commemorated the 100th anniversary of the independence of the United States. The Smithsonian also opened the new home of the National Air and Space Museum July 1, 1976.

NASA 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 Building (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 July 20, the anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. On the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution, NASA held the rollout ceremony of the first space shuttle (which NASA had planned to name Constitution but was, instead, named "Enterprise" in honor of its fictional namesake on the television series Star Trek[19] ).

Many commercial products appeared in red, white, and blue packages in an attempt to tie them to the Bicentennial. Liberty, a brand of Spanish olives, sold their product in glass jars replicating the Liberty Bell during that time. Products were only permitted to display the trademarked Bicentennial logo by paying a license fee to ARBA.

Many national railroads and shortlines painted locomotives or rolling stock in patriotic color schemes, typically numbered 1776 or 1976, and many military units marked aircraft with special designs in honor of the Bicentennial.

Disneyland and The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World presented America on Parade, an elaborate parade celebrating American history and culture, and featured the Sherman Brothers' song "The Glorious Fourth". The parade featured nightly fireworks and ran twice daily from June 1975 to September 1976.

John Warner, later U.S. Senator from Virginia, served as ARBA director.[20]

The New Jersey Lottery operated a special "Bicentennial Lottery" in which the winner received $1,776 per week (before taxes) for 20 years (a total of $1,847,040).

The overall theme of the entertainment of Super Bowl X, held January 18, was to celebrate the Bicentennial. Players on both teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys, wore a special patch with the Bicentennial Logo on their jerseys; the Cowboys also added red, white and blue striping to their helmets throughout their bicentennial season. The halftime show, featuring the performance group Up with People, was entitled "200 Years and Just a Baby: A Tribute to America's Bicentennial".

The United States Olympic Committee initiated bids to host both the 1976 Summer and Winter Olympic Games in celebration of the Bicentennial. Los Angeles bid for the 1976 Olympics but lost to Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Denver was awarded the 1976 Olympic Winter Games in 1970, but concern over costs led Colorado voters to reject a referendum to fund the games and the International Olympic Committee awarded the games to Innsbruck, Austria, the 1964 host.[21] As a result, there was no Olympics in the United States in 1976 despite a last minute offer from Salt Lake City to host. However, Lake Placid would host the 1980 Winter Olympics, Los Angeles would eventually be awarded the 1984 summer games, and Salt Lake City would also eventually be awarded the 2002 Winter Olympics.

As site of the Continental Congress and signing of the Declaration of Independence, Philadelphia served as host for 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.[22] The 1976 Pro Bowl was an exception and was played in New Orleans, likely due to weather concerns.

George Washington was posthumously appointed to the grade of General of the Armies of the United States by the congressional joint resolution Public Law 94-479 passed January 19, 1976, with an effective appointment date of July 4, 1976.[23] This restored Washington's position as the highest-ranking military officer in U.S. history.[Note 1]

The Bicentennial Wagon Train Pilgrimage began a journey from Blaine, Washington on June 8, 1975 concluding at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania on July 4, 1976.[24][25] The wagon train pilgrimage traced the original covered wagon trade and transportation routes across the United States encompassing the Bozeman Trail, California Trail, Gila Trail, Great Wagon Road, Mormon Trail, Natchez Trace Trail, Old Post Road, Old Spanish Trail, Oregon Trail, Santa Fe Trail, and Wilderness Road.[26]

The Bicentennial on screen[edit]


Related network television programs aired July 3–4, 1976

  • The Great American Celebration, 12-hour syndicated entertainment program hosted by Ed McMahon and airing the night of July 3
  • The Inventing of America (NBC), two-hour BBC co-production reviewing 200 years of American technological innovations and their impact on the world, co-hosted by James Burke and Raymond Burr[27][28]
  • In Celebration of US (CBS), 16-hour coverage hosted by Walter Cronkite
  • The Glorious Fourth (NBC), 10-hour coverage hosted by John Chancellor and David Brinkley
  • The Great American Birthday Party (ABC), hosted by Harry Reasoner
  • Happy Birthday, America (NBC), hosted by Paul Anka
  • Bob Hope's Bicentennial Star-Spangled Spectacular (NBC)
  • Best of the Fourth (NBC), recap with John Chancellor and David Brinkley
  • July 4 satellite broadcast of the University of North TexasOne O'Clock Lab Band live performance in Moscow (NBC), sponsored by the US Department of State
  • Days of Liberty (WABC – New York), animated holiday special
  • Goodbye America (PBS), mock "newscast" re-enacting a 1776 debate in the House of Commons concerning the future of the American colonies

The Bicentennial Minutes were short vignettes aired on CBS from 1974 through the end of 1976 to mark the occasion.

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 "I'm Just a Bill" (discussing the legislative process) and "The Preamble" (which features a variant of the preamble of the Constitution put to music), have become some of Schoolhouse Rock's most popular segments.

In 1975, CBS aired a new animated Archie series on Saturday mornings called The U.S. of Archie; unfortunately the program was unsuccessful, and was off the air by September 1976.


For the Bicentennial celebration, Hollywood filmmaker John Huston directed a short movie—Independence (1976)—for the U.S. National Park Service which continues to screen at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia to the present day (2014).

The movie Rocky cited the Bicentennial in several scenes, mostly during Apollo Creed's entering; Carl Weathers dressed first as George Washington then as Uncle Sam.


A number of nations gave gifts to the US as a token of friendship. Among them were:

Canada through the National Film Board of Canada produced the book Between Friends/Entre Amis which was a photographic essay of life along the US-Canada border. The book was given to libraries across the US and special editions were presented to President Gerald Ford and other officials.[29]

The government of France and Musée du Louvre assembled an exhibit of paintings in cooperation with the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Metropolitan Museum of Art that traveled to Detroit and New York City after being shown in Paris. The exhibit, entitled French Painting 1774–1830: The Age of Revolution, included the work of 94 French artists from that period. Many of the 149 works in the exhibit had never been seen outside France and included Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix, Jupiter and Thetis by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres and a portrait of Maximilien Robespierre by Adélaïde Labille-Guiard.[30]

Japan's government constructed and furnished the 513-seat Terrace Theatre of Kennedy Center in Washington.[31] Fifty-three bonsai trees from the Nippon Bonsai Association were donated to the U. S. National Arboretum.[32]

King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofía of Spain presented sculptures of Bernardo de Gálvez, a hero of the American Revolutionary War period and later Viceroy of New Spain; and Don Quixote, Cervantes' fictional hero, on June 3, 1976, on behalf of their nation.

The United Kingdom loaned one of the four existing copies of the Magna Carta for display in the US Capitol. The document was displayed in a case designed by artist Louis Osman consisting of gold, stainless steel, rubies, pearls, saphires, diamonds and white enamel. This was on a base of pegmatite and Yorkshire sandstone. The document was displayed atop a gold replica from June 3, 1976 until June 13, 1977, when it was returned. The case and gold replica remain on display in the Capitol.[33]

King of Norway Olav V, Prime Minister of Norway Odvar Nordli, and Norwegian Government established the Vinland National Health Sports Center in Loretto, Minnesota.[34]


  • Other Commemorative Items
  • Six different Bicentennial buttons designed and sent by two art teachers to President Gerald R. Ford.

  • A box of 15 billiard balls specifically designed to commemorate the Bicentennial.

  • Commemorative pewter Bicentennial thermometer depicts an eagle above a laurel wreath with the “1776” and “1976” written inside.

See also[edit]



  1. ^Jonathan B. Crider, "De Bow's Revolution: The Memory of the American Revolution in the Politics of the Sectional Crisis, 1850-1861," American Nineteenth Century History (2009) 10#3 pp 317–332
  2. ^David Ryan, "Re-enacting Independence through Nostalgia - The 1976 US Bicentennial after the Vietnam War," Forum for Inter-American Research (2012) 5#3 pp 26–48.
  3. ^"Resolution Establishing the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission - P.L. 89-491"(PDF). U.S. Government Printing Office. 80 Stat. 259
  4. ^Peters, Gerhard; Woolley, John T. "Lyndon B. Johnson: "Statement by the President Announcing the Signing of a Resolution Establishing the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission," July 8, 1966". The American Presidency Project. University of California, Santa Barbara. 
  5. ^"Records of the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration [ARBA]". 1995. Retrieved 2011-05-24. 
  6. ^"Who's Having the '76 Birthday Party?". Associated Press. September 25, 1999. Retrieved 2010-04-20. 
  7. ^"H.R. 7446 ~ American Revolution Bicentennial Administration Establishment of 1973". P.L. 93-179 ~ 87 Stat. 697. May 3, 1973. 
  8. ^"American Revolution Bicentennial Administration Establishment - P.L. 93-179"(PDF). U.S. Government Printing Office. 87 Stat. 697-2
  9. ^Peters, Gerhard; Woolley, John T. "Richard Nixon: "Remarks on Signing a Bill Establishing the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration.," December 11, 1973". The American Presidency Project. University of California, Santa Barbara. 
  10. ^"Bicentennial: The U.S. Begins Its Birthday Bash". Time. 21 April 1975. Retrieved 2011-05-24. 
  11. ^Ryan, David (9 December 2012). "Re-enacting Independence through Nostalgia – The 1976 US Bicentennial after the Vietnam War". FIAR: Forum for Inter-American Research. International Association of Inter-American Studies. 5 (3): 26–48. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  12. ^"Record Unit 337: Assistant Secretary for History and Art, American Revolution Bicentennial Records, 1962–1982". Smithsonian Institution Archives. 24 September 2007. Retrieved 2011-05-24. 
  13. ^"Symbols of Sig Ep". Retrieved 2011-05-24. 
  14. ^"Restoring Old Glory and a Massive Meatball". 11 January 2007. Retrieved 2011-05-24. 
  15. ^Zinn, Howard (4 February 2003). A People's History of the United States. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics. p. 562. ISBN 0-06-052837-0. (Subscription required (help)). 
  16. ^Halloran, R. July 4, 1976. "500,000 View Capital's Bicentennial Parade" New York Times.
  17. ^"Bicentennial Bell". Independence National Historical Park. Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  18. ^Rioux, Terry Lee (2005). From Sawdust to Stardust: The Biography of DeForest Kelley, Star Trek's Dr. McCoy. Pocket Books. p. 221. ISBN 0743457625. 
  19. ^"American Revolution Bicentennial Administration – Licensing/Use of Symbol and Flag"(PDF). John Marsh files. Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library. p. 31. Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  20. ^Sanko, John (12 October 1999). "Colorado only state ever to turn down Olympics". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  21. ^Lyon, Bill (17 March 2009). "Sports helped Philly celebrate Bicentennial". Philadelphia Inquirer. Archived from the original on March 30, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  22. ^Bell (2005)
  23. ^"Larry and Pauline Asmus Papers, 1975-77: Bicentennial Wagon Train Participants". Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum. 
  24. ^"1976 Bicentennial Wagon Train to Valley Forge, PA". Old Images of Montgomery County PA. 
  25. ^"Bicentennial Wagon Train Pilgrimage to Pennsylvania"(PDF). Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum. University of Texas. 
  26. ^"The Impact of Science on Society"(PDF). NASA. 1985. p. 2. Retrieved 2016-05-28. 
  27. ^"'Inventing of America' poses, answers queries". Eugene Register-Guard. June 27, 1976. Retrieved 2016-05-28. 
  28. ^"Lorraine Monk Books". Retrieved 2011-12-01. 
  29. ^Marsha Miro (2 March 1975). "At the Institute of Arts, A Heroic Show from France". Detroit Free Press. p. D-1. 
  30. ^"Terrace Theatre Seating Chart". The Kennedy Center. Retrieved 2011-12-01. 
  31. ^"Museum History | National Bonsai Foundation". Retrieved 2017-03-07. 
  32. ^"Magna Carta Replica and Display". Architect of the Capitol. Retrieved 2011-12-01. 
  33. ^Peters, Gerhard; Woolley, John T. "Gerald R. Ford: "Remarks Upon Accepting Norway's Bicentennial Gift to the United States.," July 2, 1976". The American Presidency Project. University of California - Santa Barbara. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Capozzola, Christopher. "'It Makes You Want to Believe in the Country': Celebrating the Bicentennial in the Age of Limits" in Beth Bailey & David Farber, eds., America in the 70s (2004) pp 29-45.
  • Gordon, Tammy S. The Spirit of 1976: Commerce, Community, and the Politics of Commemoration. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2013.
  • Hall, Simon. "'Guerrilla the Guise of Red, White, and Blue Bunting': The People's Bicentennial Commission and the Politics of (Un-) Americanism." Journal of American Studies (2016): 1-23. online

External links[edit]

First Lady Betty Ford, with President Ford, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in the President's Dining Room in conjunction with a 1976 state visit during the U.S. Bicentennial.
Magna Carta Replica and display case
  1. ^In Bell (2005), William Gardner Bell states that when Washington was recalled back into military service from his retirement in 1798, "Congress passed legislation that would have made him General of the Armies of the United States, but his services were not required in the field and the appointment was not made until the Bicentennial in 1976, when it was bestowed posthumously as a commemorative honor." How many U.S. Army five-star generals have there been and who were they? states that with Public Law 94-479, President Ford specified that Washington would "rank first among all officers of the Army, past and present. "General of the Armies of the United States" is only associated with two being Washington and the other being John J. Pershing.
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