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Bristol Bicentennial Committee records

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: C#00766

Scope and Contents

The Bristol Bicentennial Committee Records consist of materials related to the Bicentennial celebration in 1976. These records give insight into the planning and execution of the celebration and contain print and manuscript materials including correspondence, meeting minutes, administrative and financial records, promotional materials, newspapers and clippings, publications, and personal notes.


  • July 1, 1974-February 28, 1977


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

No special restrictions unless otherwise specified.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is in the public domain unless otherwise specified. We reserve the right to restrict reproduction of materials due to preservation concerns.

Biographical / Historical

American Revolution Bicentennial, 1776-1976
The Fourth of July in 1976 marked the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Congress established the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration (ARBA) in 1973 to help encourage and support local celebrations for the bicentennial. Official events began on April 1, 1975 with the American Freedom Train launching from Delaware to make its 21-month tour of the continental United States. The final national celebrations occurred on the Fourth of July in 1976. ARBA catalogued over 66,000 events during that time.

Lt. Col. Ruth M. Briggs
Lieutenant Colonel Ruth Mary Briggs was born on December 7, 1910 in Hopkinton, Rhode Island and died on July 2, 1985 in Bristol, Rhode Island. Briggs was the daughter of Ralph M. Briggs and Frances (Babcock) Briggs. She attended Coker College in Hartsville, South Carolina and then graduated with a Master’s in Political Science degree from Columbia University in New York, New York. Briggs graduated 4th in her class from Fort Des Moines and was immediately commissioned as a second lieutenant on August 29, 1942. Arriving in England in November 1942, Briggs was one of the first women to be sent abroad in World War II to serve in the Women’s Army Corps, as well as being the secretary to General Walter Bedell Smith during that time. After returning from the war, Briggs became the republican nominee for the United States Senate for the state of Rhode Island in 1966 and was defeated by democrat Claiborne Pell. She was survived by two brothers, Ralph Briggs of Atlanta and David Briggs of Meredith, N.H., one of whom donated the records in this collection to the State Archives after Lt. Col. Ruth M. Briggs’ death.


1.94 Cubic Feet


The Bristol Bicentennial Committee Records contain materials from the committee for planning the Bristol Bicentennial Fourth of July Celebration and other events relating to the Bicentennial in Bristol, Rhode Island. The records were compiled by Lieutenant Colonel Ruth Mary Briggs of Bristol, Rhode Island, an organizer of the committee.


The Bristol Bicentennial Committee Records are arranged into the following series:
Series 1. Bicentennial Committee
Series 2. Meeting Minutes
Series 3. Financial Records
Series 4. Correspondence
Series 5. Bristol, Rhode Island
Series 6. Bicentennial Publications
Series 7. Rhode Island Publications
Series 8. Newspapers/Clippings
Series 9. Awards and Commendations
Series 10. Lt. Col. Ruth M. Briggs’ Records

Custodial History


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from Lt. Col. Ruth M. Briggs’ brother on unknown date after her death on July 2, 1985.


No accruals are anticipated.

Related Materials

Rhode Island Bicentennial records 1969-1977, #1636-1727 and C#0570

Condition Description

Good - most materials are in excellent condition, but some materials have corners bent, are folded, yellowing, and are ripped.

Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Rhode Island State Archives Repository

33 Broad Street
Providence RI 02903 USA