Click for Home Page Springfield Township Historical Society 
P.O. Box 564
Flourtown, PA 19031
October 15th SESQUI! Greed, Graft, and the Forgotten World's Fair of 1926
Presented by Mr. Tom Keels - Please see below.
For TICKET information, SPONSOR Forms etc. - Please see below.
Sesqui Program
Greed, Graft and the Forgotten World's Fair of 1926

Presented by Mr. Tom Keels

Thursday, October 15th, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.

First Presbyterian Church
Bethlehem Pike & East Mill Road in Flourtown, PA

It was meant to be the greatest international exposition the world had ever seen.

It became known as the "Flop Heard 'Round the World."

What went wrong with Philadelphia's second world's fair, staged fifty years after its tremendous success with the 1876 Centennial?

In 1916, department store magnate John Wanamaker launched plans for a Sesqui Centennial International Exposition in 1926, a world's fair to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Wanamaker believed that the "Sesqui" would restore its beloved but corrupt hometown to its rightful position as the birthplace of American liberty. Centered around the new Fairmount Parkway (today's Benjamin Franklin Parkway), the fair would turn sooty, industrial Philadelphia into a Beaux-Arts City Beautiful.

On May 31, 1926, the Sesqui-Centennial opened in the remote, muddy swamps of South Philadelphia. Mayor W. Freeland Kendrick welcomed the world to an unfinished fair of shabbily built, mostly empty structures. When the Sesqui closed six months later, "Kendrick's Karnival" had attracted fewer than five million paying customers, less than half the number who saw the Centennial fifty years earlier. It had lost millions of dollars and made Philadelphia a national scandal, a city so corrupt that one political boss could kidnap an entire world's fair.

The Springfield Township Historical Society welcomes back Mr. Tom Keels, author or co-author of six published books on Philadelphia history: Wicked Philadelphia: Sin in the City of Brotherly Love; Forgotten Philadelphia: Lost Architecture of the Quaker City; Chestnut Hill; Philadelphia Graveyards and Cemeteries; Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Square; and the recently released Philadelphia's Golden Age of Retail (with Lawrence M. Arrigale).

Please join us on October 15th, as Mr. Tom Keels talks about the subject of his forthcoming book Sesqui! Greed, Graft, and the Forgotten World's Fair of 1926. Filled with unforgettable characters, Sesqui! tells the compelling story of a world's fair that crashed and burned, set against the backdrop of a changing, conflicted city and country during the Roaring Twenties. The public is invited to attend, and there is no charge for admission. Reservations are not required. Light refreshments will be served.

For more information call 215-233-4600

PLEASE NOTE : Attendees to the October program are encouraged to bring a canned food item to donate to the First Presbyterian Church's neighborhood food pantry. Please help us to support this important cause.

Springfield Township Historical Society
Proudly presents its

3rd Annual


Featuring: Without a Cue theatre Productions

Friday, November 13, 2015 from 6:30 to 10:30 pm

at the Flourtown Country Club
150 McCloskey Road, Flourtown, PA 19031

Please join us as Springfield Township Historical Society celebrates its 30th anniversary at its third annual History in Motion!

Guests are encouraged to dress in their best 1920's ensembles for the festive evening, which will be in a Roaring 20's atmosphere with a full hour of complimentary wine from Chaddsford Winery and a seasonal beer tasting by Flourtown Beverage. Tickets include a sit-down dinner theater featuring 1920s murder mystery troop, Without A Cue Productions. Without a Cue Productions produces murder mystery dinner theaters in the region, including at Peddler's Village in Lahaska and at Fisher's Tudor House in Bensalem.

The evening will also feature an auction of 40 items, ranging from jewelry and art work to bronze pieces and small rugs by America's Best Auction. ABA is a licensed auctioneer of select art, home decoratives, antique furnishings, jewelry, and international estates based in Orange, Connecticut. For History in Motion, STHS will be given any of the profit over the minimum bid. ABA will move the auction to the Highlands,7001 Sheaff Lane, Fort Washington for an auction on Saturday and Sunday, November 14 and 15. STHS will receive three percent on items that sell at The Highlands auction.

The historical society has received generous sponsorships for the third annual History in Motion from Kreilick Conservation, LLC, Dan Helwig, Inc.-REALTORS ®, Chaddsford Winery, and Flourtown Beverage. The Historical Society welcomes additional sponsors.

Tickets are available as an Early Bird Special for $60 per person until August 31st. Tickets will then be $75 leading up to the event, and include a one-hour Wine & Seasonal Beer Bar with appetizer accompaniment. After that hour, it becomes a cash bar. Dinner will be a chicken entrée followed by dessert, coffee and tea. Please notify the STHS if you require a vegetarian meal.

Founded in 1985, the historical society researches, collects and preserves materials pertaining to the township's history. This history includes historically significant buildings, individuals, businesses, institutions and other entities of value.

To purchase tickets ONLINE through Event Brite - Click here
or you may call the historical society at 215-233-4600.

For SPONSORSHIP FORMS in PDF format - Click here.

For additional information about sponsorship, contact STHS events committee chairperson Amanda Helwig at

We appreciate the generous support of our SPONSORS.
America's Best Auctioneer
Chaddsford Winery Dan Helwig, Inc
Flourtown Beverage
America's Best Auctioneer

                                THANK YOU!

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