The Swiss Center of North America is the permanent home to The Sister Republics Exhibit, commemorating the long relationship between two of the world's oldest democracies.
This gift was made possible by the Library of Congress, and the CIBA-Geigy Corporation with the assistance of the Cultural Affairs Office of the Embassy of Switzerland.
Based on a concept conceived and presented by the Library of Congress in 1991, the exhibition was built to commemorate the 700th Anniversary of Swiss Confederation.
The displays highlight Swiss migration to North America and Swiss involvement in the U.S. War of Independence and in the U.S. Civil War.
Swiss scholars may have inspired Thomas Jefferson's drafting of the Declaration of Independence, where Benjamin Franklin sent his children and grandchildren to school in Switzerland and how the Swiss constitution of 1848 is modeled on its American counterpart.
The Sister Republics exhibit details Switzerland's unique direct democracy of referendum and initiative, as well as the role Switzerland and the United States have played in each other's formation as republics.
The display has traveled throughout the United States and been hosted at some of America's most prestigious museums and universities, including the Library of Congress, Duke University, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Utah, and the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library in Atlanta, Georgia.
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