This month, the city of Reading in the US state of Pennsylvania celebrated the 275th anniversary of it becoming a city.
Reading, PA became a settlement in 1748 when it was founded by Thomas and Richard Penn, the sons of William Penn, a famous Quaker who travelled to Ireland and Germany before founding the colony of Pennsylvania in 1628 and dying in Ruscombe, Berkshire in 1718.
The settlement of Reading became a city on March 16, 1847, some 64 years after the end of the American War of Independence from 1775-1783, with Pennsylvania becoming part of the United States in 1787.
Reading, PA celebrated its 275th anniversary as a city on March 16, in an event attended by councillor Tony Page (Labour, Abbey), the deputy leader of Reading Borough Council and alderman Tony Jones.
Mr Jones presented a certificate of appreciation from the mayor of Reading, PA at a full meeting of Reading Borough Council on Tuesday, March 21.
The Certificate of Appreciation, written by Eddie Moran, the Democrat mayor of the city, states: “This certificate is proudly presented to Reading, England on behalf of our over 95,000 City Residents, City Officials and The City of Reading Employees.
“We want to thank you for observing our ‘275 Anniversary’ with us.
“It is my honour that we celebrate ‘Our Home, Our Hearts’ with you.
With heavy hearts we prepare to wish you well on your departure, but never say ‘Goodbye’ but rather, ‘Until the next Time.”
The name of the city was chosen after the Penn brother’s county seat of Reading in the UK.
Councillor Rachel Eden (Labour, Whitley) the Mayor of Reading, said: “There is a long history of links between Reading, Pennsylvania, and Reading, UK.
“Our American counterparts are very proud of their history and links with us, and it was a delight to receive the gift of their city flag to mark the 275th anniversary of the foundation of their city.
“I’m looking forward to welcoming more visitors from Reading PA – we can learn so much from each other, it’s a very special international friendship for our town”.
Reading, PA is known for being the birthplace of Taylor Swift, who was born there on December 13, 1989.
The city is overseen by a Japanese Pagoda situated on Mount Penn, and Reading Public Museum holds the mummified corpse of Nefrina, an Egyptian noblewoman who lived during the reign of the Macedonian Pharaoh of Egypt King Ptolemy II.
It is located in Berks County, named after the Royal County of Berkshire.
Politically, Berks County leans toward the Republican Party, with a majority voting for Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020.
Then-President Trump felt Reading, PA important enough to visit a city airfield on Halloween during the 2020 Presidential Election campaign.
Tony Jones was a Labour councillor first elected in 1984 retiring in 2021 as a representative of Redlands.
Mr Jones was Reading Mayor at the time of the 9/11 terror attack in 2001, which killed 2,996 people, including 2,977 victims and 19 al-Qaeda terrorists.
He accepted an invite to visit Reading, PA for their Thanksgiving festivities that year after fundraising for the victims of the attacks.
Mr Jones presented a letter of solidarity to the city written by then Prime Minister Tony Blair, and has kept contact ever since.