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History in the making: 237th anniversary of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 to be celebrated | News, Sports, Jobs

History in the making: 237th anniversary of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 to be celebrated | News, Sports, Jobs


Members of the Marietta chapters of the Sons of the American Revolution and Daughters of the American Revolution participate in the 2017 commemoration of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. This year’s celebration includes several events scheduled for Friday and Saturday. (File photo)

History buffs will have a chance to celebrate the passage of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 this week.

The 237th celebration of the Northwest Territory Resolution of 1787 will begin on Friday, according to a press release from the celebration committee.

The Northwest Ordinance, passed by the Continental Congress on July 12, 1787, played an important role in the history of Marietta and the United States.

The announcement stated that Marietta was the site of the first organized settlement and capital of the Northwest Territory. Marietta was founded by 48 members of the Ohio Company under General Rufus Putnam, who landed at the mouth of the Muskingum River on April 7, 1788, beginning the westward expansion of the United States.

The document said these men had served in the American Revolutionary War and lobbied Congress for land as payment for their service, leading to the passage of the Northwest Ordinance, which established territories north of the Ohio River to Canada and east of the Mississippi River, abolished slavery in those territories, and provided a model for the Bill of Rights.

The release states that on Friday from 10:00 to 10:30 a.m. there will be a bell ringing at First Congregational Church, with a bell played by Sean Lofty.

“Guests are invited to climb the stairs to the bell tower to view” stated in the announcement.

According to the release, a ceremony to commemorate the Northwest Ordinance will be held at the Memorial to the Start Westward of the United States at 10:30 a.m. Jean Yost, a member of the ceremony committee, said there will be two speakers at the event.

The release said that if it rains, the event will be held at First Congregational Church.

Gerald R. Ford Gleaves Whitney Presidential Foundation Executive Director will deliver a presentation entitled: “American Renaissance: The Northwest Ordinance and the Vision of a More Perfect Union” according to the announcement.

“The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 is one of the most important documents in the world” Whitney said in a statement.

“Undoubtedly the greatest achievement of the Confederation Congress, this document provides a blueprint for the development of the new American republic and sets a course for the creation of a more perfect union—first and foremost by eliminating slavery from the new territories.”

Yost agrees with Whitney’s description of the Northwest Ordinance.

“If you look at the most important documents in the world on human rights, this document is in the top three” Yost said.

He added that the Northwest Ordinance helped eliminate slavery in an area as large as the original 13 colonies and provided rights for women and children.

According to Yost, Todd Kleismit, executive director of America 250-Ohio, the Ohio state commission celebrating the bi50th anniversary of the United States, will also deliver a speech during the program.

“He will mainly talk about how Marietta can celebrate and get more involved (on the 250th anniversary).” Yost said.

Yost believes people should come to the celebration to “listen to these words from these great scholars” he said.

According to a flyer accompanying the press release, a screening of a portion of David Garrigus’ upcoming documentary film, “The Invasion,” will take place Friday at 6:30 p.m. in the McDonough Center Auditorium at Marietta College. “The American Constitution: 1787.”

“The year 1787 inevitably set the course for America’s future” that’s what the leaflet for the film said.

“Witness the fascinating story of (George) Washington, (Alexander) Hamilton and (Benjamin) Franklin as they told a story of compromise and triumph as they crafted the Constitution in Philadelphia. Meanwhile, in New York, Congress created the groundbreaking Northwest Constitution. (The film) explores how these key documents have a profound impact on our world today.”

According to the flyer, there will be a Q&A with Garrigus after the screening, where viewers will have the opportunity to share their thoughts with him and learn how these historic moments were brought to the big screen.

The flyer states that the show is sponsored by American 250-Ohio and the Northwest Territory Ordinance of 1787 Celebration.

The following events will also be held as part of the celebrations:

*On Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Campus Martius you can visit the General Rufus Putnam House and see the exhibition “Celebrating Pioneers” based on the book of the same title by David McCullough. Standard admission prices apply.

*On Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., History in the Park will be held at Muskingum Park, featuring historical exhibits and historical reenactments.

According to the release, the co-chairs of the celebration committee are Mayor Joshua Schlicher, former Ohio Governor and former Marietta Mayor Nancy Hollister, Multicultural Genealogical Center board member Sharon Barnett, Marietta Daughters of the American Revolution member Lila Hill and Marietta Sons of the American Revolution member Jean Yost.



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