The Archbury Foundation was officially established in 2001 but began as a history club at Wilson High School in 1998. It was invented by our foundations president Jim Swope who is a history teacher at Wilson.
The AF is a local Pennsylvania non-profit organization (501c3) which began in 2001. It was started as a vehicle to preserve and present the American experience from 1935 to 1945, and is a family oriented organization.
The goal of the AF is to attract members with a deeper appreciation for the history of the 1935-1945 time period and go beyond books and movies to present this important historical information to the public. What they say is true “Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it”. It is our mission to educate, preserve, and present this important time frame through living history events, parades and total immersion events (a feeling of being there) that replicate as close as possible to what our parents, grandparents, great grandparents and other family members (aka “The Greatest Generation” ) experienced.
Our group travels the east coast setting up displays for education, trips & banquets for veterans, parades, and immersions events dedicated to honoring those who have served in every branch of military service throughout WWII. Our Living History Division (83rd ID) is based out of Reading, PA and has been actively participating in events since 1998.
The inspiration for the name comes from “ARCHBURY” the fictitious WWII US Army Air Forces B-17 Base in England in the classic WWII book and movie 12 O’clock High. The Archbury Foundation AF logo comes from the WWII Allied Forces shoulder sleeve patch worn at one time by the likes of General Eisenhower and General Patton.
The Archbury Foundation’s specific areas of historical interest during the 1935-1945 time period are:
U.S. Popular Culture
Movies, shorts, newsreels, cartoons, publications
The 1939-1940 New York World’s Fair
Period slang, jargon, and terminology
Citizens Military Training Camps
The New Deal; Works Progress Administration (WPA), Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)
European Theater of Operation
83rd Infantry Division
The Home Front
1935-1945 civilian and military vehicles
Historic Preservation and Presentation
Actual and replica buildings, structures, vehicles, and artifacts of the 1935-1945 time period.-
The Archbury Foundation saved and restored the 1938 Fegely’s Reading Diner and donated it to the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles in Boyertown PA.