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WHEREAS, the founding of the settlement at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620, the first permanent European settlement in New England and the oldest municipality in New England, has great significance in the history of the United States;
WHEREAS, the Plymouth settlers came to the United States to realize religious freedom, an essential tenant of democracy;
WHEREAS, the Plymouth settlers wrote and signed the Mayflower Compact, the first constitutional political democracy in the United States and a precursor to the Constitution of the United States;
WHEREAS, Plymouth has served as the location of several prominent events, the most notable being the First Thanksgiving feast, when Native Americans and the Plymouth settlers joined together to enjoy their harvest;
WHEREAS, Plymouth Rock is the traditional site of disembarkation of William Bradford and the Mayflower Pilgrims who founded Plymouth Colony in 1620, in what would become the United States, and the rock is currently located on the shore of Plymouth Harbor in Plymouth, Massachusetts;
WHEREAS, commemorating the 400th anniversary of the Plymouth settlers arrival celebrates the beginning of the creation of our great nation and democratic government;
WHEREAS, the Plymouth settlers officially disembarked at Plymouth Rock on December 21, 1620;
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts should appropriately organize, commemorate and celebrate the 400th Plymouth, Massachusetts Anniversary;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Deval L. Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution, Part 2, c.2, § 1, Art. I, hereby order as follows:
Section 1. There is hereby created the Plymouth, Massachusetts 400th Anniversary Commission, hereinafter referred to as the "Commission." The purpose of the Commission is to ensure a befitting national and state observance of the Plymouth 2020 anniversary.
Section 2. The Commission shall include the following members:
a. A chairperson and a vice chair appointed by the Governor;
b. Two members to be selected by the Senate President;
c. Two members to be selected by the Speaker of the House;
d. A sitting member of the Plymouth Board of Selectmen, to be selected by vote of the majority of Selectmen;
e. One member to be selected by the Plymouth Board of Selectmen;
f. Two members from the Massachusetts Historical Commission, to be selected by the Secretary of the Commonwealth;
g. The Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, or her designee;
h. The Commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, or his designee;
i. The Chairman of the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, or his designee;
j. The Chairwoman of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, or her designee;
k. The president of the University of Massachusetts, or his designee.
Section 3. The Commission shall have the following responsibilities:
a. To organize programs and activities of the State in observance of the Plymouth 400th anniversary;
b. To develop Plymouth 2020 observances that provide an excellent visitor experience and beneficial interaction between visitors and the natural and cultural resources of the Plymouth site;
c. To ensure that the Plymouth 2020 observances are inclusive and appropriately recognize the experiences of all people present in 17th century Plymouth;
d. To facilitate national and international involvement in the Plymouth 2020 observances;
e. To coordinate and facilitate the public scholarly research on, publication about, and interpretation of, Plymouth;
f. To support and facilitate marketing efforts for commemorative items and related activities for the Plymouth 2020 observances; and
g. To assist in the appropriate development of heritage tourism and economic benefits to the Commonwealth.
Section 4. The Commission and its members shall receive no compensation for their work and will seek philanthropic support or state and federal funds to support their projects and activities.
Section 5. This Executive Order will expire on December 31, 2020.
Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 10th day of June in the year of our Lord two thousand and eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America two hundred and thirty-two.
DEVAL L. PATRICK, GOVERNOR
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
WILLIAM FRANCIS GALVIN
Secretary of the Commonwealth