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Entries in united states bicentennial (7)


Dear People of the Year 2076 (1976)

The 1970s was a tough decade for America. As we saw in the second episode of, many people were predicting apocalypse. But in 1976, it seems Americans were determined to hold their heads up high and celebrate 200 years of a country that was experiencing some major growing pains. If there's one thing Americans know how to do well, it's throw a party. And the U.S. Bicentennial was supposed to be one hell of a party.

On July 4, 1976 newspapers all across America dedicated special sections to the history and future of the country. The Grand Prairie Daily News in Grand Pairie, Texas invited readers to write letters to the people of 2076, who would presumably be celebrating the United States Tricentennial. Today we have some of those letters from high school students of the year 1976. What's pretty clear in reading the letters is that even most high school kids weren't very optimistic about what the next hundred years had in store for them.

[I've redacted the number that appears under Mike Sharp's letter because it looks like a Social Security number. I'm not sure why Mike would include his Social Security number, but I'd rather not create any unnecessary problems for ol' Mike, because most of these people are probably alive today.]

The drawing above was made by little Lisa Givlar in 1976 and appeared in The Tricentennial Report


Dear People of the Year 2076,

In the year 2076, the world will be far ahead in space travel and modern technalogy. There will be space flights to other planets.

Machines will take over, modern man will become a living blobb.

California will not be on the map and the weather will change through out the world.

Hungar will strike Asia and Europe. The civilization of 2076 will depend upon the polluted sea waters for food.

Nuclear enery will supply our needs.

Population control will be put into affect. The world will be over populous.

Schools wll be television programs. This may all seem funny to you but I remember a time when space travel was all just a dream.



Pat Bentley



To the people of the year 2076,

In a hundred years I think the world will be overpopulated and people will have to live in apartments to accomodate for this. Everything will be able to be recycled and what little that can't will be shot out into space.



Greg Redding


Many things will change some good some bad. But most of all I hope that the people of the year 2076 still love and protect the United States and what it stands for. This world is tough, but I am glad to be born in a place such as America were I can say what I please.



A South Grand Prairie High Warrior

[unreadable] Allen 


I believe 100 years from now, ("1976") the year I graduate, crime will be wiped out completely. There will be some kind of magnetic force field to stop anyone from doing something illeagle.

Someday in the future I hope the world will not need army's, but I doubt that day will come. There will be new weapons being built all the time. I feel that the wars will be push button wars not on the battefield with hand-to-hand combat.

We probably have traveled to new planets and had started new colonies. Concerts and music is something important in my life, but I doubt it will be in the future.

I hope the world is at peace, and I wish all of you Americans the best of luck.


Mike Sharp


To: Whomever,

I'm suppose to write what I think the world will be like in 100 years. Well, honestly, I doubt if the world will even exist. The earth will probably destroy itself by then with a nuclear war.

The people of today just can't get along together, or even seem to be trying. But if by some miracle, and it would be a miracle, man still exists 100 years from now, I'm hoping the world will be a peaceful place. Maybe man will have learned to live in harmony with nature. Instead of polluting the air and sea. Maybe all the countries of the world will destroy their weapons and love their fellow man. This would be a great accomplisment and I'm wishing you all the luck in the world.


Maura McDonald


There is one thing specifically I would not like to see in the year 2076 and that is war and hostility of any kind. Peace is an all important thing the people of Earth must learn in order to progress and survive.

I truly wish humanity knows what to do with itself.


Spirit of 76 Bi Centennial

Yours truly

Bobby Jack 


Tell us your own Tricentennial story (1976)

I can't believe it's been a year since we last looked at the book, The Tricentennial Report: Letters from America. Published by the Atlantic Richfield Company in 1977, the book collects the hopes and fears of common people looking forward 100 years to the United States Tricentennial.

The advertisement below appeared in the June 16, 1976 Oakland Tribune (Oakland, CA) and asked for submissions from the general public.

While we here at the Paleo-Future blog usually abhor input from readers, this seems like as good a time as any to open up the floor to discussion. What do you think the year 2076 A.D. will look like? Remember, you have 32 years on these people. Your predictions should then be 32 years smarter. Right, smarty-pants? Right?

When you're done with your prediction, mail it to:

The Mayor of Blog
10101 Blogosphere Lane
Internet, California 95041

See also:
The Tricentennial Report: Letters from America (1977)
Lisa's Picture of 2076 (1976)
Tricentennial Report Ad (Oakland Tribune, 1976)
Animals of 2076 (1977)



Future "Brotherhood" (1976)

Carl T. Rowan wrote a piece which appeared in the July 3, 1976 Stevens Point Daily Journal (Stevens Point, WI) titled, "Sees hatred yet a century hence."

Rowan covers issues of racism, eugenics and elitism in the century leading up to the United States tricentennial. The piece appears below in its entirety.

GALAXY SPACE STATION (July 4, 2076) - At least 120 children and a spaceship driver were laser-beamed to death yesterday when Galaxians resorted to violence to try to prevent the spaceshipping of school children here from the predominantly black Stardust Space Station a few thousand miles away.


The above may strike you as a highly unlikely news story to mark the celebration of America's tricentennial. But it sums up what I see as I honor a request from Portland, Ore., that I look into my crystal ball and peek at human relations a century from now.

The people of 2076 (if any survive) will have made scientific progress so incredible that millions will have liberated themselves from Mother Earth and her finite resources such as water, food, petroleum, coal. But they will only prove that while humans get smarter they don't grow wiser.

Those who become the new pioneers, seeking a richer life on space stations beyond our polluted atmosphere, will be burdened by hatreds, prejudices and fears as old-fashioned as those that bedeviled Americans in the days of Jefferson Davis and Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Racism, chauvinism, snobbery, greed will still dominate human affairs despite incredible developments in genetic engineering - plus chemicals and new surgical techniques designed to control the intellect, and modify the behavior, personality and mood of 21st century man and woman.

The truth is that, in seeking to alter genes, chromosomes and every other basic element of human life so as to create a super race - and who is superior intellectually, morally, physically. Those deemed inferior will find their families doomed to vanish in one generation. By 2076 only the elite will be permitted to procreate, and even then under carefully monitored circumstances.

Blacks wound up predominant on the Stardust Space Station, in fact, having escaped to this outer-space refuge when rumors spread that genetic engineers had ordered the extinction of all the "inferior blacks." According to the descendants of a couple of 20th century "scholars," William Shockley and Arthur Jensen, blacks and other "minorities" were pulling down the intellectual quality of the whole human race.

Remember, now, this is the crystal ball reporting.

Believe me, if I could influence the crystal ball I'd show you a 2076 society in which people ranging in color from goat's milk to double chocolate finally find mutuality of respect and a sense of love that gives them a kind of security no cruise missiles and B-1 bombers will ever provide.

But every time I shake my crystal ball and say, "Don't be absurd! Even a species as dumb as homo sapiens will find a way to free itself from bigotry in 100 years," that crystal ball flashes backwards two or three centuries to prove otherwise. I see Christians and Moslems killing each other, as now. And Germans and Frenchmen in conflict generation after generation. And Catholics and Protestants in brutal conflict that no passage of time erases in places like Northern Ireland. The Jew-haters of a millennium ago sounding just like Spiro Agnew. Racial violence in Boston in 1976 arising from passions of bigotry no less intense than those that spawned a riot in Wilmington, N.C., 78 years earlier, or in Atlanta 70 years before.

That crystal ball keeps contradicting all sorts of things that I have written. More than 24 years ago, in my preface to "South of Freedom," I wrote; "I do not believe that man was born to hate and be hated; I cannot believe that the race problem is an inevitable concomitant of democratic life."

That crystal ball flashes into 2076 and tells me that in 1951, or is it that I [now] have an old crystal ball which is disillusioned, clouded with pessimism, unable to see man's potential for rising up next to the angels?

See also:
Future Shock - Skin Color (1972)
The Tricentennial Report: Letters from America (1977)
Lisa's Picture of 2076 (1976)
Tricentennial Report Ad (Oakland Tribune, 1976)
Animals of 2076 (1977)
21st Century Eugenics (1967)



Animals of 2076 (1977)

The quote below from Phoebe Burdg of San Martin, California was featured in the Tricentennial Report, published in 1977. Phoebe describes animals of 2076 that will of course be mechanical.

The only live animals are these necessary to provide meat. Any others are expertly mechanized duplicates of the real thing, as depicted in the many museums around the world . . . .They are manufactured on demand. A family may have an animal dependent on their ability to give credits for it.

See also:
The Tricentennial Report: Letters from America (1977)
Lisa's Picture of 2076 (1976)
Tricentennial Report Ad (Oakland Tribune, 1976)


Tricentennial Report Ad (Oakland Tribune, 1976)

This ad requesting submissions for the Tricentennial Report begins with, "We have always been a nation more interested in the promise of the future than in the events of the past."

Curiously, the second sentence then plays Debbie Downer with, "Somehow, the events of the past few years have made us doubt ourselves and our future." Watergate? The Vietnam War? I didn't know the U.S. Bicentennial was such a depressing event.

Below is the full text of the ad:

We have always been a nation more interested in the promise of the future than in the events of the past.

Somehow, the events of the past few years have made us doubt ourselves and our future.

Here at Atlantic Richfield, however, we see the future as an exciting time. The best of times. And we know that all of us can achieve a splendid future by planning for it now.

We'd like your help. We need your vision. We want you to tell us about the changes you would like to see take place in America - and in our American way of life.

For example:

What ideas do you have for making life more fun than it is now?
What changes would you like to see in government? (City? State? Federal?)
What do you envision as the best way to solve our energy problems?
What about the future of business? (More regulation by government? Less?)

Or if those topics don't appeal to you, pick one that does.
How should our physical world be altered?
Do you recommend that we live underground? In plastic bubbles?
Will family life change? Will we choose a spouse by computer? Will divorce be illegal?
What should our schools be like? Should machines replace teachers?
What will make us laugh? What will be funny that isn't funny now?
What new major sports would you like to see? Three-dimensional chess? Electronic billiards?

Whatever your idea may be, we want to know about it. Write it. Draw it. Sing it. But send it.

In about six months we plan to gather your responses, analyze them, and make a full report on what we've found out. We believe the report will provide a fascinating and valuable view of America's hopes, dreams, fears, and visions. We'll make sure it reaches the people who are in positions to consider and act on it.

Along the way we will make television commercials and newspaper and magazine ads out of many of the ideas so you can see what other people are thinking.

Please note that all ideas submitted shall become public property without compensation and free of any restriction on use and discourse.

See also:
The Tricentennial Report: Letters from America (1977)
Lisa's Picture of 2076 (1976)


Lisa's Picture of 2076 (1976)

Young Lisa Gilvar of Happy Hollow School in Wayland, Massachusetts submitted this picture for the Tricentennial Report, published in 1977. Domed habitats in the sky seem pretty cool to me. I might go with a different color scheme for the poles, but hey, I'm no designer of the future.

See also:
The Tricentennial Report: Letters from America (1977)


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.