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Empire Day: Welcoming the 157th Year of the Nortonian Empire

  • Transamerica Redwood Park Mark Twain Street & Sansome Street San Francisco, CA United States (map)

Empire Day: Welcoming the 157th Year of the Nortonian Empire
Thursday, September 17, 6:00PM
Transamerica Redwood Park,
Mark Twain Street & Sansome Street, San Francisco


Enter on the Clay Street or Washington Street sides of the Park. Redwood Park, which normally closes at 5:30PM, will be open by special arrangement.

On the morning of 17 September 1859, Joshua Norton walked into the office of George Fitch, the editor of the San Francisco Evening Bulletin newspaper, and handed Fitch a proclamation in which he, Norton, declared himself "Emperor of these United States."

Fitch printed the proclamation in that evening's edition.

The Evening Bulletin was in the Montgomery Block, the legendary building of offices, parlors and saloons which - in the Emperor's day - was home to numerous prominent financiers, politicians, judges, writers, and journalists.

The building stood on Montgomery Street, between Merchant and Washington - on a portion of the site where the landmark Transamerica Pyramid now stands.

Today, nestled immediately to the east of the Pyramid, a grove of redwoods anchors the lovely urban oasis of Redwood Park.

Directly across the street from the park is the former site of Fitch's editorial office - where Norton actually delivered his Proclamation - at 517 Clay.

Please join The Emperor's Bridge Campaign as we celebrate the foundation of Norton's Empire on 17 September 1859 and the continuation of that Empire into the present and the future - a borderless Empire of the heart open to all who have eyes to see and ears to hear.

We're calling it Empire Day - and we hope that this will mark the beginning of a new tradition.

It may be far from a coincidence that Joshua Norton chose 17 September to declare himself and his Empire - as this also was the date, in 1787, when delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia signed the U.S. Constitution. Today, 17 September is an official U.S. holiday known as Citizenship Day. So please join us and declare yourself a citizen of the Empire!

Following a brief ceremony, we will adjourn to Comstock Saloon for a toast.

Earlier Event: September 17