Washington, D.C. - Congressman Darin LaHood (IL-18) testified before the House Natural Resources Committee at today’s National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands Subcommittee hearing on his legislation, H.R. 820 – New Philadelphia National Historical Park Act. The legislation would establish the New Philadelphia National Historical Park in Pike County, Illinois as a unit of the National Park System. Congressman LaHood was joined by Philip Bradshaw, President of the New Philadelphia Association, who also testified in support of the bill. 

Rep. LaHood Testimony

On February 4, 2021, Congressman LaHood introduced H.R. 820, legislation to establish the New Philadelphia site in Pike County, Illinois as a unit of the National Park System. 

New Philadelphia, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated as a National Historic Landmark, was the first town platted and legally registered by an African American, Frank McWorter. McWorter founded the town, which is now part of Barry, Illinois in Pike County, in 1836. Since joining Congress, Rep. LaHood has worked with Members of Congress, the Pike County community, and the New Philadelphia Association to properly preserve and recognized this historical site.

New Philadelphia completes central Illinois’ 1800s freedom story. With anti-slavery writer Mark Twain to the west and President Abraham Lincoln to the east, town founder Frank McWorter embodies the central role of African Americans in their own freedom struggle. By bringing the site into the National Park System, this bill will allow more people to see and understand the historical and cultural significance of New Philadelphia and ensure its continued preservation for years to come.

Philip Bradshaw Testimony

Today's legislative hearing is another important step in the legislative process for Rep. LaHood's bill and the New Philadelphia site. Following the legislative hearing, the next step would be a full committee markup, and then a floor vote in the House.

Learn more about the bill HERE.