Archive for Sunday, September 19, 2004

A message to 2054 bicentennial planners

September 19, 2004


To the City Commission of Lawrence, Kansas, in the year 2049/2050:

The Lawrence Sesquicentennial Commission has enjoyed strong support from the City Commission and the people of Lawrence for the four years that we have worked together. Throughout, we have attempted always to look forward, conscious of the importance of building on the commitment to this community made by the several generations that came before us.

It is in that spirit that we address you, leaders of the future, to encourage you to choose wisely a group of residents to plan for Lawrence's 200th birthday, on Sept. 18, 2054.

Anticipating that the body you name for this important work might benefit from knowing about the efforts of hundreds of people during our time, we have submitted this letter for publication in the Sept. 19, 2004, issue of the Lawrence Journal-World and have arranged for the following materials to be secured in the vaults of the Kenneth Spencer Research Library at Kansas University:

  • Thousands of pages of meeting minutes, memoranda, letters, photographs, moving images, posters and handbills that were created during our work, to serve as the archival record of the experiences we had in carrying out the charge we received from our City Commission.
  • 200 copies of a handsome and informative map that depicts the growth of Lawrence from its founding through our time, created by a member of the commission and sold in good quantities during the year.
  • A supply of attractive Sesquicentennial Medallions, which were sold in large numbers during this time.

Additionally, we have donated to the Watkins Community Museum of History many artifacts of the celebrations, including signs, banners, coffee mugs and like objects that also help tell the story of this sesquicentennial celebration.

We have placed examples of all of these items, with many "letters to the future" written by residents, in a time capsule to be buried at Sesquicentennial Point, near Clinton Lake, at our closing ceremonies, on Sept. 19. We confidently expect that many of the young people who have written these letters will be on hand for the opening of that trove in September 2054.

We hope that the records and artifacts of our work not only will be useful in the planning for a successful bicentennial celebration, but also that the supply of maps and medallions might be put to good use in the private fund raising, which we expect will be needed in your time, in addition to the appropriation of public money for the celebration.

We have great confidence in the future vitality of Lawrence as it moves into its third century!

Clenece Hills, president;

Jerome Niebaum, vice president;

Bruce Roberts, secretary;

William J. Crowe, treasurer;

Judy Billings, David Carttar and James W. Paddock, board members

Lawrence Sesquicentennial rCommission

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