Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Independence Hall, Philadelphia, PA

This is where both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted. The lowest chamber of the original wooden steeple was the first home of the Liberty Bell. When that steeple was removed in the 1780s the bell was lowered into the highest chamber of the brick tower, where it remained until the 1850s.

Their web site is here and their wikipedia page is here.


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Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Liberty Bell, Philadelphia, PA

The Liberty Bell was initially placed in the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House (now renamed Independence Hall) in 1752. Bells were rung to mark the reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 8, 1776, and while there is no contemporary account of the Liberty Bell ringing, most historians believe it was one of the bells rung. It acquired its distinctive large crack sometime in the early 19th century - a widespread story claims it cracked while ringing after the death of Chief Justice John Marshall in 1835.

When I visited Philadelphia in the 1980s the Liberty Bell was in an open plaza. Now it is housed in Liberty Bell Center and you can actually get much closer to it now.

Their web site is here and their wikipedia page is here.


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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Ben Franklin's Grave, Philadelphia, PA

Ben Franklin's Grave is in Christ Church Burial Ground. This is one of America’s most interesting Colonial and Revolution-era graveyards, with 1,400 markers on two acres right in the heart of Philadelphia. In 1719, Christ Church purchased two acres of land on the outskirts of town at the corner of 5th and Arch Streets.

When Benjamin Franklin died in 1790, he was buried in his family plot in the north west corner of the burial ground along with his wife Deborah and their two children Francis and Sarah. In 1858, Franklin's descendants requested that an opening be placed in the brick wall so the public could see Franklin's grave day or night, and a metal fence was installed. After the opening in the wall it was much easier for Franklin's many fans to show their respect and remembrance of him by tossing a penny onto his grave. "A penny saved is a penny earned."

Their web site is here and their wikipedia page is here.


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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Betsy Ross' House, Philadelphia, PA

This is where Betsy Ross purportedly lived when legend says she made the first American Flag. Although the house is one of the most visited tourist sites in Philadelphia, the claim that Ross once lived there, and that she designed and sewed the first American flag are considered apocryphal. Regardless of the provenance of this site it is worth visiting.

Their web site is here and their wikipedia page is here.


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PS. There's a fringe benefit to visiting Betsy Ross' House. The Real World Philadelphia was filmed next door.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

United Nations, New York, NY

The United Nations is headquartered in New York City. The day we drove by there they weren't in session so the national flags weren't displayed.

Their web site is here and the wikipedia article is here.



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