As the birthplace of American freedom, historic Philadelphia offers an inspiring journey through history that no other American city can offer.
Church bells rang out across Philadelphia on July 4, 1776.... signaling that the Declaration of Independence was approved and officially adopted and signed in Philadelphia's Independence Hall. Eleven years later, in 1787, the U.S. Constitution was drafted and signed in the same building.
In historic Philadelphia you and your family can learn more details about Independence Hall, the Statue of Liberty and signers of the Declaration of Independence, including Benjamin Franklin, Francis Hopkinson and many more.
The Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of American independence, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Formerly placed in the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House, renamed Independence Hall, the bell was commissioned from the London firm of Lester and Pack in 1752, and was cast with the lettering "Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." It originally cracked when first rung after arrival in Philadelphia, and was twice recast by local workmen John Pass and John Stow, whose last names appear on the bell. In its early years, the Liberty Bell was used to summon lawmakers to legislative sessions and to alert citizens to public meetings and proclamations.
"We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal..." Philadelphia's Independence Hall echoes these words. Nearby the old cracked Liberty Bell proclaims liberty and the spirit of Benjamin Franklin is alive in his adopted city.
Independence Hall is the centerpiece of Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is known primarily as the location where both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted. The building became the principal meeting place of the Second Continental Congress from 1775 to 1783 and was the site of the Constitutional Convention in the summer of 1787. The building is part of Independence National Historical Park and is listed as a World Heritage Site.
The statue in front of Independence Hall is of John Barry, an officer in the Continental Navy during the American Revolutionary War and later in the United States Navy. He is sometimes credited as "The Father of the American Navy."
Benjamin Franklin earned the title of "The First American" for his early and indefatigable campaigning for colonial unity and as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. He invented the lightning rod, bifocals, the Franklin stove and a carriage odometer. He also facilitated many civic organizations, including a fire department and a university.
Francis Hopkinson was an American author, and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence as a delegate from New Jersey. He later served as a federal judge in Pennsylvania. Only a few years into his service as a federal judge, Hopkinson died in Philadelphia at the age of 53 from a sudden epileptic seizure. He was buried in Christ Church Burial Ground in Philadelphia. Hopkinson was the designer of the American Flag and did not get his due in life. At one point, he asked only for a bottle of wine for his efforts, which he never received. So every year on his birthday, the workers at Christ Church take a bottle of wine to his grave-site and share it to remember his contribution.
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