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Agency Information

Committee of One Hundred

[Record group 232-1]
Agency Function
The Committee of One Hundred has ceased to exist.

Agency History
The incorporating agency of the Sesqui-Centennial, the Committee of One Hundred (also informally referred to as "the citizens' committee" for the Sesqui-Centennial) originated on November 1, 1920, when Mayor J. Hampton Moore sent out a circular letter stating that "As the result of conferences and suggestions from the Chamber of Commerce, the Franklin Institute and other public spirited organizations, I invite you to attend a meeting to be held in the Mayor's Office, City Hall [on November 4, 1920] to prepare for the organization of a movement to celebrate in Philadelphia, in 1926, the Sesqui-Centennial of the signing of the Declaration of Independence" (Minutes, Nov. 1, 1920). At this meeting, which was attended by Alba Johnson, president of the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, John Frederick Lewis, president of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and of the Art Jury, and John Wanamaker, among others, the participants approved a motion authorizing the mayor to appoint a citizens' committee to prepare a plan of celebration. The participants also adopted a resolution in which they asked Mayor Moore to request City Council for an appropriation of $50,000 to cover preliminary expenses. The Committee of One Hundred was appointed, and at an organizational meeting on February 14, 1921, the members resolved to secure a charter for the project, to be incorporated under the title, "Sesqui-Centennial Exposition Association," and recommended a list of officers and directors. Lewis was named chair of the committee on incorporation, and the mayor was selected as the association's president. For some reason, the application for the charter listed the name of the organization as the "Sesqui-Centennial Exhibition Association" (not "Exposition Association" as originally discussed). The "Sesqui-Centennial Exhibition Association" became the official name when the governor of Pennsylvania chartered the organization by letters patent on May 9, 1921. The Committee of One Hundred then went out of existence.

Archival Records
232-1.1 Minutes (1 November 1920-14 February 1921)

232-1.2 Correspondence (December 1920-November 1921, September 1923)

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Last updated on July 9, 1999