Lehigh County’s Bicentennial birthday is on March 6, 2012. The county was officially established March 6, 1812 being formed from the western half of Northampton County. It is named after the Lehigh River, whose name is derived from the Delaware Indian term Lechauweki or Lechauwekink, meaning “where there are forks”.
Lehigh County comprises 349 square miles with a population of 350,000 living in eight boroughs, 15 townships, one city and a portion of another.
The Lehigh County Bicentennial Committee has been busy organizing many events to help celebrate the county’s birthday.
A one-day community celebration will take place on March 10th at the Allentown Fairgrounds Agri-Plex facility. The celebration will involve a multitude of community groups, churches, youth organizations and historical societies with displays, exhibits and cultural entertainment on the county’s rich history, which will include a variety of ethnic foods and beverages.
Here is the first class to be inducted into the new Lehigh County Hall of Fame. These 24 people will be honored during the Bicentennial birthday celebration.
Curt Simmons, baseball; Phillies Whiz Kids/World Series Champ, Whitehall
Chuck Bednarik, football; NFL Hall of Fame, Coopersburg
Matt Millen, football; NFL Super Bowl Champ 4x, Whitehall
Andre Reed, football; NFL Super Bowl participant 4x, Allentown
Dan Koppen, football; NFL Super Bowl Champ 2x, Whitehall
Larry Seiple, football; NFL Super Bowl Champ 2x, Allentown
Ed McCaffrey, football; NFL Super Bowl Champ 3x, Allentown
Marty Nothstein, cycling; Olympic Gold Medalist, Emmaus
Michelle Marciniak, basketball; NCAA National Champ/WNBA, Macungie
Carson Kressley; TV Personality, Weisenberg
Amanda Seyfried; Actress, Allentown
Christine Taylor; Actress, L. Macungie
Michaela Conlin; TV Actress, Bones, S. Whitehall
Ed Donley; Former Air Products & Chemicals CEO, U. Macungie
Raymond “Chip” Mason; Founder of Legg Mason financial firm, Bethlehem
Lee Iacocca; Former Chrysler Corp. CEO/Author, Allentown
Brig. Gen. Anna Mae Hays; First woman general in US military, Allentown
Gen. Thomas R. Morgan; Four Star General/Asst. Marine Commandant, Slatington
Joel Spira; Founder of Lutron Electronics/Inventor of the dimmer switch, Coopersburg
David Zinczenko; Editor of Men’s Health/Author, Emmaus
John Grogan; Author of Marley and Me/Columnist, Coopersburg
Charles Bierbauer; Network White House correspondent, Allentown
Billy Packer; Network basketball broadcaster, Bethlehem
Rich Lerner; Golf Channel broadcaster, Allentown
Here is a list of the Lehigh County Bicentennial Events:
Help celebrate Lehigh County’s Bicentennial by visiting any of four historic sites on Sunday, February 26th, 12 noon – 3:30 pm. Tour sites at Lehigh County’s 1850 Haines Mill Museum (Haines Mill & Dorney Park Rds., Allentown), the 1868 Lock Ridge Furnace Museum (525 Franklin St., Alburtis) or the Lehigh County Historical Society’s 1770 Colonial Stone Mansion Trout Hall (414 Walnut St., Allentown) and the Troxell-Steckel Farm Museum (4229 Reliance St., Egypt). Free to Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum members, non-members may pay fee at some sites.
March 6 – Lehigh County’s 200th Birthday
March 6 – “200 Years: Scenes from Lehigh County and Cases from Lehigh County Court” An exhibit of thirteen pen and ink drawings of Lehigh County by Susannah Thomer; Zion’s UCC, 4:30 pm
March 7 – Launch Party Lehigh County, A Bicentennial Look Back at an American Community; Allentown Brew Works, 5:00 pm
March 10 – Lehigh County Bicentennial Celebration; Allentown Fairground Agri-Plex, 11:00 am Opening Ceremony, 6:00 pm Hall of Fame Presentation, 8:00 pm Bicentennial Fireworks
March 10 – Allentown Symphony Orchestra, Beethoven’s 6th and Lehigh County’s 200th; Allentown Symphony Hall, 8:00 pm
April 10 – Hall of Fame – Dedication of Plaques; Lehigh County Government Center, 1:00 pm
May 19 – George Taylor House, Monument Unveiling/Dedication, Time: TBD
June 2 – Curt Simmons Day – Lehigh County Hall of Fame; Egypt Memorial Park, 11:30 am