“A 1910 Celebration” at HSP

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“A 1910 Celebration” at HSP

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Honorees include Cokie Roberts, Marciarose Shestack, Jerome Shestack, and Henry Lafayette Collins III

Philadelphia, PA— The Historical Society of Pennsylvania will honor four extraordinary individuals at its prestigious Founder’s Award dinner on Thursday, April 29, 2010. Called “A 1910 Celebration” in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Society’s building, the event will be held at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania at 1300 Locust Street in Philadelphia.

The event will honor Cokie Roberts with the Founder’s Award. Roberts is an acclaimed author , broadcaster, and member of the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame. The Founder’s Award will also be presented to Jerome J. Shestack, a prominent lawyer and advocate for human rights; and Marciarose Shestack, the first woman in the country to anchor the prime-time daily news in a major market while at KYW-TV. Henry Lafayette Collins III, a former member of HSP’s Board of Councilors, will receive the Heritage Award.

The annual Founder’s Award dinner is especially significant this year, since April marks the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Society’s library at 13th and Locust Streets. The Society purchased the property—once the mansion of Civil War general Robert Patterson—in 1883. Architect Addison Hutton reconfigured the building into the first fireproof library in the United States, and the new structure was formally opened to the public in April 1910 with great fanfare and two full days of celebration.

In honor of the building’s anniversary, the Founder’s Award dinner will have a 1910 theme. When guests arrive, they may have their picture taken beside a red Stutz  Bearcat sports car from the early 1900s, provided by Dr. Fred Simeone. Guests will enjoy jazz and ragtime music by Kenny Gates. Dancers from Mixed Pickles will perform dances that were popular in the early 1900s, including the Bunny Hug, the Turkey Trot, and Grizzly Bear. Even the food and flowers will be inspired by the original 1910 event. The evening will conclude with a cake in the shape of the Historical Society’s four-story brick building and a toast of Roman punch, which was served at the original 1910 dinner.

About the Honorees

In her more than 40 years of broadcasting, Mrs. Cokie Roberts has won countless awards, including three Emmys. She has been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame and was cited by the American Women in Radio and Television as one of the 50 greatest women in the history of broadcasting. She is also an acclaimed author. We are our Mother’s Daughters, an account of women’s roles and relationships throughout American history, was a New York Times bestseller. Roberts’ histories of women in America’s founding era—Founding Mothers, published in 2004, and Ladies of Liberty in 2008—also became instant bestsellers. Roberts holds more than 20 honorary degrees and serves on the boards of several non-profit institutions and the President’s Commission on Service and Civic Participation. This year the Library of Congress named her a “Living Legend,” one of the very few Americans to have attained that honor. The Historical Society of Pennsylvania is pleased to honor Mrs. Roberts for her exemplary service to history.

Jerome J. Shestack is a partner and head of the Litigation Department at the Philadelphia law firm of Wolf, Block, Schorr and Solis-Cohen. Among his many prestigious positions, Mr. Shestack served as President of the American Bar Association in 1997-98, as U.S. Ambassador for Human Rights to the United Nations Human Rights Commission under President Carter, as a U.S. delegate to the Moscow Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, and as a Commissioner of the Presidential-Congressional Commission to Improve the Effectiveness of the United Nations under President Bush.

As a news anchor, Marciarose Shestack became the first woman in the country to anchor the prime-time daily news in a major market while at KYW-TV. In addition to her award-winning career in broadcast journalism, Mrs. Shestack has been very influential within the Philadelphia community. Mrs. Shestack led the effort to encourage national and international businesses to locate in Philadelphia as President of the Philadelphia Developers Alliance. Long active in a multitude of civil causes, Mrs. Shestack currently is an active member of the Board of Directors of the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. She was elected for an unprecedented 15 terms as the public member and only non-architect on the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and, in 2001, was named an honorary member of the A.I.A. We are delighted to recognize Mr. Jerry and Mrs. Marciarose Shestack for their civic contributions to the Philadelphia region and beyond.

Henry Lafayette Collins III will receive the Heritage Award. He was elected to HSP’s Board of Councilors in 2001 and has provided many years of leadership and guidance as a member of the Executive Committee, the Governance Committee, Secretary and Co-Chair of the Institutional Advancement Committee, and Chair of the Nominating Sub-Committee. In addition, Mr. Collins has worked tirelessly to build HSP’s annual fundraiser and award dinner, the Founder’s Event. We are pleased to honor Mr. Collins with the Heritage Award for his contributions in preserving the heritage of the Philadelphia region and in support of his work with the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

The event will begin with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. in the society’s beautiful reference room and library. Guests can peruse some of the Historical Society’s treasures regarding the history of the building and the Society. Dinner will be served at 7:30 p.m., followed by dessert at 9 p.m. This year’s event will also feature a Young Friends Party, which will begin at 9 p.m.

Deborah Dilworth Bishop and Alice Lea Tasman serve as event chairs. Leon L. Levy and Thomas Moran are corporate chairs, and Nathan K. Raab and Karen Pearlman Raab, Esq. will be young friends chairs.

The Founder’s Award was established in 2000 as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s 175th anniversary celebration to applaud individuals and organizations that champion history’s uses and enhance its value to the public. Past recipients include Ken Burns, Andrea Mitchell, Vartan Gregorian, Ed Bradley, Al Hunt, Bette Bao Lord, Anne d’Harnoncourt, Jim Lehrer, James Billington, Robert W. Bogle, and William T. Coleman Jr. Last year the Founder’s Award was presented to John C. and Chara C. Haas.

This event is the Historical Society’s main fundraiser of the year. Funds raised will help HSP continue to preserve and catalogue its 21 million documents and share our nation’s stories with researchers, educators, and the wider community.

Special thanks to our media sponsors: The Philadelphia Inquirer and CBS3.

Media is invited to attend the event.Please contact the society’s Director of Programs and Communications, Lauri Cielo, at 215-732-6200 ext. 233 or lcielo@hsp.org.


  • Date: Thursday, April 29, 2010
  • Time: 6 p.m. reception followed by 7:30 p.m. dinner

           9 p.m. dessert reception and Young Friends Party

  • Location: Historical Society of Pennsylvania