Happy Birthday, Pennsylvania!
The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC) will celebrate the commonwealth's 340th birthday 🎂 on Charter Day, Sunday, March 7, with a virtual display of William Penn's original 1681 charter, charter chats and other programming from the Pennsylvania State Archives, State Museum of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Trails of History.
Learn the History of Penn's Charter
Pennsylvania was created when England's King Charles II granted a charter to William Penn in 1681. The 340-year-old Charter is written on parchment using iron gall ink. Once each year, the Pennsylvania State Archives exhibits the original document. For the remainder of the year, the State Archives preserves the fragile document in a high-security vault, shielding it from strong light and environmental fluctuations.
Become a Virtual Visitor
Beginning Sunday, March 7 and continuing through Friday, March 12, virtual visitors (You!
) may view Penn's Charter, discovering how Document No. 1 ended up at PHMC. You may also “tour” the Violet Oakley murals of William Penn, Pennsylvania’s founder, featured in the Governor’s Reception Room at the Capitol, explore the themes of birthdays and celebrations from historic sites and museums along Pennsylvania’s Trails of History, read colonial-era documents or “virtually” page through more than 45 years of Pennsylvania Heritage
magazine for articles exploring all aspects of the commonwealth's 340-year history and much more.