“David McCullough Day” Declared in Allegheny County

PITTSBURGH – In a joint proclamation issued today, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Allegheny County Council have designated July 7, 2013 as “David McCullough Day” in Allegheny County.  The declaration is part of full day of celebrations on the occasion of Mr. McCullough’s 80th birthday. 

11:00 AM



2:00 PM

16th Street Bridge Closes to Vehicular & Pedestrian Traffic
Port Authority 54 Bus Route Begins Detour 

Dedication of the 16th Street Bridge as the David McCullough Bridge

On the bridge, 16th Street and Penn Avenue in the Strip District

Free and Open to the Public
Music performed by River City Brass

Limited Seating Available – Standing Room Only 

3:00 PM

David McCullough Birthday Celebration

Heinz History Center – First Floor Great Hall

Free and Open to the Public – Includes free admission to all exhibitions

Music performed by Shady Side Academy Jazz Combo
Birthday cake and cupcakes provided by Vanilla Pastry Studio 

4:00 PM




5:00 PM

David McCullough’s Reflections – “Bridging the Past and Present”

Heinz History Center – Fifth Floor Mueller Education Center

This Event is SOLD OUT 

David McCullough Bridge Re-Opens to Vehicular & Pedestrian Traffic

Port Authority 54 Bus Route Resumes Regular Route 


The text of the proclamation follows: 



WHEREAS, Mr. David McCullough was born July 7, 1933, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of Ruth and Christian McCullough; David’s parents and grandmother introduced him to books at an early age, reading to him frequently, and his parents often talked about history; and 

WHEREAS, one of four sons, Mr. McCullough attended Linden Avenue Grade School and Shady Side Academy before heading to Yale University to study English; there he was taught by faculty members, including John O’Hara, John Hersey, Robert Penn Warren and Brendan Gill; and 

WHEREAS, while at Yale, he served apprenticeships at Time, Life, the United States Information Agency and American Heritage, where he enjoyed research; Mr. McCullough occasionally ate lunch with Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and playwright Thornton Wilder who taught him that a competent writer maintains “an air of freedom” in the storyline, so that the reader will not anticipate the outcome, even if the book is non-fiction; and 

WHEREAS, after graduating with honors in English Literature from Yale in 1955, Mr. McCullough moved to New York City where Sports Illustrated hired him as a trainee; he also worked as an editor and writer for the United States Information Agency in Washington, D.C., and held a position at American Heritage editing and writing; and 

WHEREAS, in 1968, David McCullough’s first book, “The Johnstown Flood,” was published; a chronicle of one of the worst flood disasters in United States history, it received high praise from critics, and he was offered contracts by two new publishers; and 

WHEREAS, his first book has been followed by many more:  “The Great Bridge” (1972), “The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal” (1977); “Mornings on Horseback” (1981); “Brave Companions” (1992); “Truman” (1992); “John Adams” (2001); “1776” (2005); “In the Dark Streets Shineth: A 1941 Christmas Eve Story” (2010); and “The Greater Journey” (2011); and 

WHEREAS, among his many honors, Mr. McCullough has won two Pulitzer Prizes, two National Book Awards in History, two Francis Parkman Prizes, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the lifetime Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the Samuel Eliot Morison Award, the Cornelius Ryan Award, the Los Angeles Times Prize for Biography, the New York Public Literary Lion Award, the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award, has been awarded more than 40 honorary degrees, and is a member of the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and Academy of Achievement; and 

WHEREAS, in addition to his writing, Mr. McCullough has been the narrator of many television shows and documentaries, including the Emmy Award winning “The Civil War” directed by Ken Burns, the Academy Award nominated “Brooklyn Bridge,” “The Statue of Liberty,” and “The Congress;” and 

WHEREAS, Mr. McCullough is married to Rosalee Barnes McCullough, they met when he was a student at Yale, and she a student at Vassar; the couple have five children and many grandchildren; although they make their home outside of Boston now, the McCulloughs have always kept a special place for Pittsburgh in their hearts – and Pittsburgh for them; and 

WHEREAS, on December 6, 2012, legislation was enacted by Allegheny County to change the name of the 16th Street Bridge within the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, to the David McCullough Bridge; the date of July 7, 2013, was selected for the formal re-naming program in honor of Mr. McCullough’s 80th birthday; and 

WHEREAS, Allegheny County is proud of the accomplishments of Mr. McCullough and the fact that he is a native son; he has been a true friend and advocate of the engineering profession through his works that are informative and inspiring to his many readers; it is wholly appropriate and fitting that we name the David McCullough Bridge as just one small way to recognize the achievements and contributions that he has made to our national body of history and literature.  

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that I, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald along with Allegheny County Council President Charles Martoni, Vice President Nicholas Futules and Members James Burn, Jr., Barbara Daly Danko, John DeFazio, Matt Drozd, James Ellenbogen, Michael J. Finnerty, Amanda Green Hawkins, Krista Harris, Heather Heidelbaugh, Robert J. Macey, John F. Palmiere, Jan Rea, and William Russell Robinson, by virtue of the authority vested in us, do hereby proclaim Sunday, July 7, 2013, as “David McCullough Day” in Allegheny County. 

FURTHERMORE, we do hereby wish Mr. David McCullough a happy and prosperous 80th birthday and extend our hope that the joy of spending time with friends, family and fans in his hometown this weekend brings him fond memories throughout the coming years. 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, we have hereunto set our hands and caused the Seal of the County of Allegheny to be affixed this 7th day of July, 2013. 

The proclamation is signed by County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Allegheny County Council President Dr. Charles Martoni.


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