WASHINGTON, DC SESQUICENTENNIAL
ANNIVERSARY OF ESTABLISHMENT OF PERMANENT NATIONAL CAPITAL
Purpose: To commemorate 150th anniversary of establishment of Federal Government in Washington, DC
Organization: In July 1947 and March 1949, 80th and 81st Congresses created National Commission to sponsor and stage celebration. President of United States was chairman ex-officio and direction was vested in executive vice-chairman, Of $3,000,000 grant to Commission, almost $1,000,000 was returned to U.S. Treasury at conclusion of events.
Site, Dates: Washington DC "Opening Ceremony" held April 15, 1950; no official closing date or event. "Faith of Our Fathers" (See Comment) held nightly Aug. 4 to Sept. 30, 1950 and June 1 to Sept. 3, 1951.
Comment: A "federal town" for deliberations of Continental Congress first proposed 1783, four years before adoption of Constitution that created Federal Government. Rivalry was keen between North and South to secure site; compromise established temporary Capital at Philadelphia for 10 years. President Washington chose permanent site Oct. 1790, persuaded landowners to sell holdings to government. On June 3, 1800, President John Adams moved to Washington and on June 10, Philadelphia ceased to be temporary Capital.
"Opening Ceremony" on April 15, 1950 included Pageant "Salute to Freedom" and military display on Capitol Plaza. Commission erected $600,000 Carter Barron Amphitheatre, 16th St. and Colorado Ave., NW, as permanent memorial; named for executive vice-chairman who died in office. Here was presented Paul Green's historical drama "Faith of Our Fathers." On general program of celebration were many art, musical and sports events throughout 1950.
Medals: Official Medals authorized by 81st Congress; struck at Philadelphia Mint; designed by Thomas Hudson Jones, sculptor of Tomb of Unknown Soldier. Obverse is reproduction of Statue of Freedom on dome of Capitol; reverse depicts President Adams addressing 6th Congress, resulting in Washington, DC becoming permanent Capital. Issue limited to 1,000 Silver and 10,000 "Copper-bronze"; former sold for $5, latter for 50 cents.
Photos courtesy of Jonathan Brecher
Obv. Statue of Freedom, 13 stars around--within center circle; outside around National Capital Sesquicentennial; below around 1800 • Washington • 1950
Rev. Scene depicting President Adams addressing Congress (half figure facing 5 heads); to l. of Adams President / John Adams / Addresses / 6th Congress / Washington / November 22 / 1800; above all, around Sixth Congress 1800 • Eighty-first Congress 1950 •; below all 150th Anniversary / Establishment of / Permanent National / Capital; below microscopic T.J.
HK-507 Silver, gray oxidized finish. 41mm.