Executive Order

Executive Order  No. 529: Establishing the Massachusetts Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission

Date: 04/04/2011
Issuer: Deval L. Patrick
Mass Register: No. 1181

Table of Contents

WHEREAS, The American Civil War was among the most significant conflicts in this nation's history, lasting from 1861 to 1865 and resulting in the deaths of over 524,000 military personnel;

WHEREAS, Massachusetts and its citizens contributed significantly to the battles and mission of the Civil War to affirm the principle outlined in the Declaration of Independence that all persons are created equal and to forever end slavery within this nation;

WHEREAS, Massachusetts contributed to the Union cause during the war through soldier recruits, financial contributions from its citizenry and state government, support of President Lincoln and his administration, and the timely and effective advice of Massachusetts military and political leaders;

WHEREAS, Many unique and pivotal contributions to the Civil War originated in Massachusetts, including the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment, the first African-American regiment from the North, and the 6th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment, the first regiment to arrive in Washington ready to fight in response to President Lincoln's call for troops;

WHEREAS, Massachusetts was the birthplace of many instrumental leaders of the Civil War, including General Joseph Hooker, the third commander of the Army of the Potomac; Dorothea Dix, the establisher of the Women's Nursing Bureau; and Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross;

WHEREAS, on April 12, 1861, the firing by South Carolinian forces on Fort Sumter precipitated the start of the American Civil War;

WHEREAS, The years 2011 through 2015 mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War;

WHEREAS, Many states have established commissions to honor the legacy of the Civil War and its veterans and to educate the American public about the Civil War's role in this country's great history;

WHEREAS, Many collections, both public and private, of Civil War memorabilia exist in Massachusetts;

WHEREAS, Massachusetts is home to some of the world's preeminent scholars and experts on the Civil War;

WHEREAS, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts should appropriately organize its own sesquicentennial tributes to and commemorations of the Civil War;

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 Massachusetts Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, hereinafter referred to as the "Commission." The purpose of the Commission is to organize sesquicentennial tributes to the Civil War and Massachusetts's role therein.

Section 2. The Commission shall include the following members:

a. A chairperson and a vice chair, to be appointed by the Governor;

b. Three members to be selected by the Senate President;

c. Three members to be selected by the Speaker of the House;

d. Two members from the Massachusetts Historical Commission, to be selected by the Secretary of the Commonwealth;

e. The Auditor or her designee;

f. The Secretary of Veterans' Services or his designee;

g. A representative from the Museum of African American History, to be appointed by the Governor;

h. The Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism or her designee;

i. The Commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Recreation or his designee;

j. The President of the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities or his designee;

k. The Executive Director of the Massachusetts Cultural Council or her designee;

l. The President of the University of Massachusetts or his designee;

m. The President of the Civil War Round Table of Greater Boston or his designee; and

n. The Superintendent of the Bureau of State Office Buildings or her designee.

Section 3. The Commission shall have the following responsibilities:

a. To develop a program of activities that commemorates the Civil War, its veterans, and the contributions of Massachusetts as a leading state of the Union during the 150th anniversary of the Civil War's occurrence, including:

i. The development of an educational website; and

ii. The creation of an inventory of places associated with the Civil War in Massachusetts and recommendations on ways to designate, mark, interpret, and acknowledge these historic sites; and

b. To issue a final report of the Commission's activities and proposed activities no later than July 1, 2015.

Section 4. The Commission and its members shall receive no compensation for their work and shall seek philanthropic support or federal grants to support their projects and activities.

Section 5. This Executive Order will expire on September 30, 2015.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 4th day of April in the year two thousand and eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America two hundred and thirty-five.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Secretary of the Commonwealth

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