In 1967, LeRoy G. Levan and a handful of friends on a break from college decided to paint a giant peace sign on a large rock on Mount Penn facing Reading to protest the Vietnam War. They all knew people who were drafted and sent to Vietnam. Some of them never came back. They chose a large rock that was a scar on Mount Penn from quarrying more than a century ago.
Over the years the paint has faded and foliage of green leaves has made it difficult to see the peace sign from the streets of Reading.
In September, 2015, a West Lawn resident named Kenny who had some fond memories of the peace sign, realized that the peace sign needed some TLC. Kenny borrowed a climbing rope and a harness from a buddy and set out to refresh the peace sign. With the harness attached safely to a tree, he lowered himself about forty feet down the steep quarry rock to the peace sign. Over the course of twelve to fifteen days Kenny worked in the morning and after work to give the peace sign coat of red, white, and blue paint.
The sign measures about 37-40 feet in diameter and is located on Mount Penn north of the Pagoda and about three blocks south of Reading High School. Kenny was born and raised in the 500 block of 13th Street in the City of Reading. He attended 13th and Green Elementary School. As a kid, he used to climb the peace sign. Kenny now occasionally takes his family up to the peace sign.
The next step to restore the peace sign is for the City of Reading to cut back trees to make the peace sign more visible.
Thanks to Kenny, the famous peace sign on Mount Penn will last for at least a few more decades.