We are honored to have been a part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s Founder’s Award Gala, where esteemed journalist Jake Tapper was rightfully recognized with the Founder’s Award for his contributions to the humanities.
The evening at began with cocktail hour in the lobby and Reading Room, while Latin-American and Caribbean music courtesy of @triocrisol filled the rooms. As guests enjoyed drinks and butlered hor d’oeuvres, they also had the privilege of witnessing history firsthand, with captivating historical documents related to freedom of the press on display. Pulled from HSP’s collection of over 21 million historical documents, the materials on display were relevant to Philadelphia and freedom of the press.
As the night progressed, guests made their way to the newly renovated reception hall for a seated dinner and awards ceremony. HSP honored two Heritage Award recipients — Carmen Febo San Miguel and the Connelly Foundation. Carmen Febo San Miguel is the recently retired Executive Director of Taller Puertorriqueño, a community-based cultural organization whose primary purpose is to preserve, develop and promote Puerto Rican arts and culture. Under her tenure, the organization grew tremendously and completed the construction of their new headquarters, the El Corazón Cultural Center. The Connelly Foundation has supported charitable organizations in the Philadelphia region since 1955. One of the Foundation’s current priorities is to improve civics and history education in the Greater Philadelphia community, reflecting HSP’s work with regional heritage organizations as the home for National History Day Philly.
The final award of the evening, The Founder’s Award, was given to Jake Tapper for his role in our nation’s civic dialogue. Jake spoke of the importance of the freedom of the press and how crucial, yet often taken for granted, it is in shaping our country. He also commended HSP CEO/Librarian, David Brigham, and HSP Chief Development Officer, Jon-Chris Hataslski, on their efforts to locate and display materials relevant to that topic from their collection of over 21 million historical documents. He was specifically fond of documents related to Benjamin Franklin Bache, the grandson of Ben Franklin and founder of the Philadelphia Aurora Newspaper – which was one of the first media outlets to promote independent journalism and hold officials accountable by publishing true, hard-hitting stories.
A truly inspiring night that reminds us of the importance of reflecting on our city and nation’s history and heritage!
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