Museum of the American Revolution Given $40 Million Matching Challenge

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June 12, 2012; Source: CBS

The Museum of the American Revolution is scheduled to open in Philadelphia in 2015, just down the street from the Liberty Bell. This week, the burgeoning museum received a fundraising shot in the arm when cable TV magnate H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest, announced that if the museum can raise $40 million, he will match that amount. Lenfest is chairman of the board of the nonprofit group behind the museum, the American Revolution Center, whose mission is centered on “engag[ing] the public in the history and significance of the American Revolution.” In addition to Lenfest’s matching challenge, the museum has already been approved for as much as $30 million from the Pennsylvania capital redevelopment assistance program.

It looks like the American Revolution Center has enough in its catalogue to truly bring the war that created the United States to life, a treasure trove of American Revolution artifacts that includes George Washington’s tent, the English law books of Patrick Henry and scores of battlefield items such as horns, canteens and clothing. Given the significance of the American Revolution to the very core of our nation, it is hard to believe that this museum does not already exist. The American Revolution Center points out that the war remains significant today as a reminder that America is “an ongoing experiment that requires the informed participation of all citizens.” NPQ looks forward to seeing this museum develop, and to one day visiting it. –Mike Keefe-Feldman