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PRINTER'S NO. 2641
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE RESOLUTION
No.
545
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY BARRAR, BIZZARRO, BOBACK, BROWN, COX, DiGIROLAMO,
FREEMAN, HARKINS, HENNESSEY, HERSHEY, HILL-EVANS, HOHENSTEIN,
JAMES, KAUFFMAN, KNOWLES, KORTZ, LONGIETTI, MACKENZIE,
MENTZER, MILLARD, B. MILLER, MURT, PICKETT, READSHAW, RYAN,
SCHMITT, SONNEY, STAATS, TOEPEL, ZIMMERMAN AND SAINATO,
OCTOBER 11, 2019
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON STATE GOVERNMENT, OCTOBER 11, 2019
A RESOLUTION
Recognizing the 375th anniversary of William Penn's birth.
WHEREAS, William Penn, the founder of this Commonwealth, was
born in London, England, on October 24, 1644; and
WHEREAS, The Province of Pennsylvania was acquired by William
Penn from King Charles II of England in payment of a debt the
king owed his father, Admiral Sir William Penn, for which
William Penn received a charter from King Charles II, dated
March 4, 1681; and
WHEREAS, William Penn invited people of diverse nationalities
and creeds to join with him in a "Holy Experiment" where men
might worship God according to their own light; and
WHEREAS, His own prayers were that Pennsylvania might become
"the seed of a nation"; and
WHEREAS, William Penn had strong faith in a representative
form of government, public education without regard to race,
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creed, sex or ability to pay and respect for the civil liberties
of all persons; and
WHEREAS, Many of the liberties and rights that we enjoy today
can be traced to William Penn's efforts; and
WHEREAS, William Penn initiated the first call for a "united
states" in his 1697 "A Plan for Union for the English Colonies
in America"; and
WHEREAS, William Penn developed the first practical plan for
world peace and a "united nations" in 1693, which was 252 years
before the United Nations was established; and
WHEREAS, William Penn established the first constitutions,
including religious liberty and tolerance, self-government and
taxation only through representation, in modern history; and
WHEREAS, On October 28, 1701, William Penn's third revision
to Pennsylvania's Constitution was adopted, "Charter of
Privileges"; and
WHEREAS, The "Charter of Privileges" so firmly established
and grounded Pennsylvania as a keystone to the other colonies
that it evolved into the outline and later adoption of our
American liberties, the Constitution of the United States; and
WHEREAS, In 1751, the General Assembly commissioned a foundry
in England to forge a bell to properly commemorate and celebrate
the 50th anniversary of William Penn's "Charter of Privileges";
and
WHEREAS, On the bell were inscribed the prophetic words from
Leviticus 25:10, "Proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all
the inhabitants thereof"; and
WHEREAS, Today that bell, the Liberty Bell, is celebrated as
one of America's most famous symbols of American independence;
and
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WHEREAS, The Liberty Bell, fondly associated with the year
1776 when the Declaration of Independence was read in
Philadelphia, was actually created 25 years previous to the
revolution in honor of William Penn and his great "Charter of
Privileges" of 1701; and
WHEREAS, The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution
of the United States were adopted in Philadelphia, and this
nation was established there; and
WHEREAS, Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United
States and writer of the Declaration of Independence, duly
recognized William Penn's indelible influence upon this American
nation and stated that he was, without doubt, "the greatest
lawgiver the world has produced"; and
WHEREAS, Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President of the United
States, stated that, in speaking of the phenomenon in
Pennsylvania, "America did not come out of New England";
therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives recognize the
375th anniversary of William Penn's birth.
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