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Pennsylvania Senate Honors Harley-Davidson, Willie G. Davidson and Davidson Family

Celebrating 120 years of continuous motorcycle production.

Last week, the Pennsylvania Senate issued a proclamation honoring Willie G. Davidson, the Davidson family and Harley-Davidson Inc. for 120 years of continuous motorcycle production and 50 years of assembling motorcycles in the company’s York, Pennsylvania, manufacturing plant.

Willie G. Davidson, Harley-Davidson’s chief styling officer emeritus, recently published a memoir, which chronicles company history and his life as a descendant of the founders and leader of the iconic company. He makes mention of the York manufacturing plant several times in the book, titled Ride Free, A Memoir.

The recognition for Davidson and Harley-Davidson was led by Pennsylvania Sen. Chris Gebhard and Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill. The ceremony presenting the citation took place outside the capitol building in Harrisburg on Oct. 25, 2023 and was attended by government officials; Harley-Davidson dealers and riders; Harley-Davidson’s General Manager of York Manufacturing Chris Yurista Sr.; and Karen Davidson, Harley-Davidson Marketing Director and daughter of Willie G. Davidson.

The citation from the State of Pennsylvania reads as follows:

In the Senate,

Whereas, the Senate of Pennsylvania takes great pride in recognizing those businesses which stand the test of time and continue to offer quality products and services to customers throughout this Commonwealth; and

Whereas, Harley-Davidson Inc. is celebrating the momentous occasion of the 50th anniversary of its York plant; and

Whereas, observing its 120th anniversary in 2023, Harley-Davidson Inc. was founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1903 by William Harley and brothers Arthur, William and Walter Davidson. In February 1973, American Machine and Foundry assembled the first Harley-Davidson motorcycle at its York plant. Now known as Harley-Davidson Vehicle Operations, the York facility assembles the Touring, Softail, CVO and Trike models and performs a variety of manufacturing operations. It also offers free factory tours and is home to a gift shop and the Vaughn L. Beals Tour Center, which allows visitors to explore exhibits that detail the manufacturing and assembly processes of the factory.

Willie G. Davidson, the grandson of one of the original founders, along with his wife, Nancy, and their children, Michael, Bill and Karen, were instrumental in the stability of the York plant. Since its inception, Harley-Davidson Inc. has maintained a tradition of excellence, remaining responsive to the ever-changing interests of the community it serves. Its steady progress is a tribute to key leaders and dedicated employees who have carried it to its present heights and built a foundation for a bright future. 

Now therefore, the Senate of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania joins with Harley-Davidson Inc. in celebrating the 50th anniversary of its York plant; extends warmest wishes for a future replete with ever-increasing success;

And directs that a copy of this document, sponsored by Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill and Sen. Chris Gebhard, be transmitted to Harley-Davidson Inc., 1425 Eden Road, York, Pennsylvania.

For more information about, or to order “Ride Free” visit www.williegdavidson.com.

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