Philly award honoring historian McCullough to recognize educators, storytellers

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough speaks about a history award named in his honor at a Thursday ceremony in Philadelphia's Carpenters' Hall. (Taylor Allen for WHYY)

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough speaks about a history award named in his honor at a Thursday ceremony in Philadelphia's Carpenters' Hall. (Taylor Allen for WHYY)

David McCullough, one of America’s most notable historians, now has a prize named after him.

The Carpenters’ Company of the City and County of Philadelphia — an organization of architects, building contractors, and structural engineers since 1724 — Thursday announced its establishment of the award in a small ceremony in Carpenters’ Hall.

McCullough himself has won numerous award, including two Pulitzer Prizes and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, for his work. Two of his most well-known books “1776” and “John Adams” feature historical figures who once gathered in the hall where he stood Thursday.

Starting next year, the prize named in his honor will be awarded annually to recognize contributions to public history and social sciences from prominent educators, artists, and filmmakers.

“We have an infinite number of good people everywhere. The good people are out there. We are a good people, but we need to be reminded of it by our story,” McCullough said.

Another new award will go to history and social science teachers in the Philadelphia region.

“I am so glad that this prize is going to be awarded to a teacher. There is nobody in our country doing more important work than our teachers,” McCullough said.

Mayor Jim Kenney spoke at the ceremony to congratulate the historian and to share why it’s important that people remember their past.

“One of the failures in this country is not knowing each other’s history,” Kenney said. “Unless we understand each other’s contributions to this country, we can’t respect each other.”

The Carpenters’ Company is preparing for its 300th anniversary in 2024.

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