The Henry George Birthplace, Archive and Historical Research Center collection on Henry George and Progress and Poverty anniversary celebrations
Held at: The Henry George Birthplace, Archive and Historical Research Center [Contact Us]413 South Tenth Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19147
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the The Henry George Birthplace, Archive and Historical Research Center. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Henry George (1839-1897) was a journalist and political economist best known for writing about and popularizing the idea of the "Single Tax." His work led to several reform movements in the Progressive Era and inspired the economic philosophy known today as "Georgism." George published his most popular work, Progress and Poverty, in 1879 while working as a journalist in San Francisco, California. Shortly after its publication, he moved to New York, NY, where he passed away in 1897.
Since the death of Henry George in October of 1897, Georgists around the world have hosted celebrations and meetings to honor the anniversary of his birth and the publication of his masterpiece, Progress and Poverty. Among the most widely attended and publicized events include the centennial celebrations of Henry George's birth in 1939 and the publication of Progress and Poverty in 1979. Georgists organized international conferences in New York City and San Francisco, respectively, to honor both occasions.
For the celebration of the 100th anniversary of George's birth, Georgists from around the world gathered at the Commodore Hotel in New York City where they presented papers on and discussed a variety of issues including the progress and effects of land value taxation around the world. Fifteen years later, Georgists celebrated the 75th anniversary of the publication of Progress and Poverty in 1954. A special postage stamp was created and the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. organized a special exhibit to honor the occasion.
Sometime during the early 1950s, Georgists around the country began asking local governmental leaders to recognize "Henry George Day" with official proclamations. Series Six of this collection contains dozens of the proclamations issued by city, county, and state leaders.
Planning for the centennial celebration of Progress and Poverty began as early as 1974 and included the creation of a Centennial Celebration Committee. George's granddaughter, Agnes George de Mille served as Honorary Chairwoman while Terry Newland, executive director of Land Equality and Freedom (LEAF), chaired the committee. Several groups sponsored the event including the Henry George School of Social Science, the Henry George Institute, the Henry George Foundation, and the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation.
The Centennial Celebration of Progress and Poverty took place at the Jack Tar Hotel in San Francisco from August 20 to August 25, 1979. More than 300 people participated in the week-long event which included speeches, discussions, and special events. Paul Nix, president of the Henry George School gave the opening address. The Robert Schalkenbach Foundation published a special anniversary edition of Progress and Poverty that included special tributes to Henry George by a wide-variety of prominent thinkers and social leaders.
In 1989, ten years after the centennial celebration of Progress and Poverty, an international conference was organized in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to commemorate the Sesquicentennial anniversary of George's birth. Some of the conference events took place at the newly restored Henry George Birthplace at 413 South 10th Street.
This collection consists of materials from or relating to various events celebrating the anniversaries of Henry George's birth and the publication of his best known work Progress and Poverty. Documents include articles and pamphlets related to Henry George and his work; event programs and evaluations; correspondence related to anniversary events, especially the centenary anniversary of the publication of Progress and Poverty; papers, addresses, and speeches given at anniversary celebrations; press reviews and other publicity materials related to anniversary exhibitions and celebrations; Henry George Day proclamations; and other materials.
There are very few original documents in this collection; most of the materials are photocopies or scans of original materials. Series VI. of this collection contains dozens of Henry George Day proclamations issued by city, county, and state leaders in the states of California, Illinois, Missouri, New York, and Pennsylvania.
The collection is arranged chronologically into six series:
Series I. Material from the centenary celebration of Henry George's birth, 1939
Series II. Material from the seventy-fifth anniversary celebration of Progress and Poverty, 1954
Series III. Material from the centennial celebration of Progress and Poverty, 1979
Series IV. Material from the sesquicentennial of Henry George's birth, 1989
Series V. Material from other anniversary celebrations of Henry George and Progress and Poverty, 1905-1981
Series VI. State, county, and city Henry George Day proclamations, 1953-2014
Most, if not all of the items in the collection have been digitized. These images and a more detailed finding aid with an inventory are available at: https://hgarchives.org/historical-collections-2/the-henry-george-and-progress-and-poverty-anniversary-celebrations-collection/.
Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2014-2016 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.
In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact The Henry George Birthplace, Archive and Historical Research Center directly for more information.
- The Henry George Birthplace, Archive and Historical Research Center
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by staff of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories using data provided by the Henry George Birthplace, Archive, and Historical Research Center
- This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
- Access Restrictions
Contact The Henry George Birthplace, Archive and Historical Research Center for information about accessing this collection.
Series III. Material from the centennial celebration of Progress and Poverty is divided into three subseries: A. Anniversary books, articles, and pamphlets; B. Correspondence and other written material for the International Centennial Celebration in San Francisco, CA, August 20-25; and C. Other centennial celebrations.