The Museum of the American Revolution celebrated its Grand Opening on April 19, 2017 in historic Philadelphia. Opening ceremony speakers included Former Vice President (now President) Joe Biden, journalist Cokie Roberts, Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough, and Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter, who is a founding board member of the Museum.
The opening of the highly anticipated Museum holds a special significance for the Oneida people, since it details their unique place in the complete story of the American Revolution. The Oneida Indian Nation played an extraordinary role as America’s first ally, fighting alongside the colonists in several key battles, including Oriskany and Saratoga, and enduring vast hardships during America’s war for independence.
The entire second-floor atrium at the Museum is named for the Oneida Indian Nation, and a prominent gallery, complete with recreated settings, pays homage to the rich historical account of the Oneida Indian Nation’s heritage. This will help preserve the Nation’s culture, share its historic bonds with the founding fathers, and ensure that generations to come can learn about the Nation’s important contributions to establishing the foundation of the United States.
Grand Opening events for the Museum of the American Revolution included demonstrations at historical sites throughout the city, an Oneida prayer given by Sheri Beglen (Wolf Clan) at the Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier in Washington Square, an official dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony, and a performance from Hamilton original cast member Sydney James Harcourt.
Several dozen Oneida Indian Nation Members traveled to Philadelphia to commemorate the opening of the new Museum, and were among the first to explore the gallery dedicated to their ancestors.
Below please find a photo gallery of the opening events.