Scope and Content
Title: Wood (Richard Coke) American Revolution Bicentennial Commission of California Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1970-1976
Collection number: Mss156
Richard Coke Wood
Extent: 2 linear ft.
University of the Pacific. Library. Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections
Shelf location: For current information on the location of these
materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
Collection is open for research.
[Identification of item], Wood (Richard Coke) American Revolution Bicentennial Commission
of California Papers, Mss156, Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections, University
of the Pacific Library
In 1970 Gov. Ronald Reagan appointed Richard Coke Wood, professor of California History
at the University of the Pacific, Stockton, Calif., to the American Revolution
Bicentennial Commission of California. At that time Wood was chairman of the California
State Historic Landmarks Commission. He served on the ARBCC through 1976.
The California legislature created the ARBC of California in 1966. Its purpose was to
assist, sponsor and promote state-wide and local celebrations, exhibits and publications
in commemoration of the bicentennial of the American Revolution (1975-1983). The
commission acted in an advisory capacity. It had a membership of twenty and an operating
budget of $1 million. Wood was the only member who was a professional historian.
In its plans the Commission sought to emphasize California's unique heritage as it
related to at least one of three themes established by the national ARBC: "Heritage '76;"
"Festival USA;" and "Horizons '76." "Heritage '76" represented history, art, and
educational exhibitions. "Festival USA" denoted California's unique contributions to the
United States. "Horizons '76" emphasized some aspect of California's future. The
Commission chose to focus here principally, though not exclusively, on the Gold Rush.
Projects included: reenactment of the DeAnza trek from Sonora, Mexico to San Francisco
(1776); planting of California poppies; and, a California history time-line (1771-1783).
Scope and Content
The collection consists of correspondence, notes, proposals by California counties for
Bicentennial events and other Bicentennial project ideas of a more general nature.