The Bicentennial Begins at St. Paul’s Chapel
New York City officially began Bicentennial celebrations on May 22, 1975, the 200th anniversary of the convening of the First Provisional Congress, when representatives from across New York State assembled in lower Manhattan to discuss how to respond to the Battle of Lexington and Concord. The ceremonies in 1975 began with a parade from the Battery to St. Paul’s Chapel, the only colonial-era church building in Manhattan. Religious leaders including "Archbishop Iakovos, Cardinal Cooke, the Rt. Rev. J. Stuart Wetmore, suffragan bishop of the Episcopal Diocese, Rabbi I. Usher Kirschblum from the New York Board of Rabbis, and the Rev. Canon Edward West, subdean of the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine" offered prayers, and a shofar was sounded. Mayor Abe Beame placed a wreath at the monument to Major General Richard Montgomery. The parade then continued to City Hall where Dr. René Dubose and Marian Anderson spoke.