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#6 Founder’s Day

Bicentennial Admin 200 Things about Norwich, Leaders & Legacy

Drawing of the original Norwich building

On 6 August, 1819, the first bricks were laid in Norwich, Vt., for the American Literary, Scientific and Military Academy. News of the groundbreaking was reported in a number of local newspapers, including this excerpt from the Essex Patriot of Concord, N.H.

Newspaper clipping of the ceremonial laying of the first bricks

On Friday, the 6th instant, the first bricks were laid; under which, at the two front corners, were deposited several pieces of money by the spectators present. On this occasion many inhabitants of the village, attended by a respectable concourse of ladies, convened at the spot to unite in praise and gratitude to the author of our existence, to implore his blessing on their efforts, and his benediction on those that may resort to this Temple of Science for an Education.

The first students entered the Academy little over a year later, on 4 September, 1820.

To view early documents related to the founding and construction of Norwich University, visit Norwich Archives and Special Collections.