Thursday, April 5, 2007

The Tricentennial Report: Letters From America (1977)

Paleo-Future reader Mr. Wallace recently inquired about an advertisement he came across many years ago that asked people to send in their ideas of what the year 2076 would look like.

After some searching I found a book called the Tricentennial Report: Letters From America, sponsored by the Atlantic Richfield Company and published in 1977. This was the year after the United States Bicentennial, which is when the solicitations most likely took place.

From the introduction to the report, "The people had been asked by Atlantic Richfield Company in newspapers, magazines and television advertisements, to discuss their country's future. Some 60,000 Americans responded and this report is a distillation of their ideas and feelings."

The book includes drawings from schoolchildren, letters from average Americans, speculative fiction and interviews with forward-thinking professionals and philosophers. Stay tuned for great excerpts from this volume.

I'm still looking for the advertisements bought in newspapers and magazines by the Atlantic Richfield Company asking for submissions. Anyone with additional information about the Tricentennial Report is encouraged to educate us all about this intriguing project.

The image above is from page 32 of the report. Stay tuned for more.


Anonymous said...

Comedian Don Novello made a humorous submission to the ARCO Tricentennial Report. It is published in one of his Lazlo Letters book where he prank writes corporations under the pseudonym of Lazlo Toth.

Anonymous said...

Hey Matt. I just now saw this. Thanks so much for tracking this down!

And, to mr anonymous: that sounds very familiar. I think it may actually be where I saw this.