Philadelphia is chock full with historic monuments( Betsy Ross’ house, Franklin’s Court,Elfreth’s alley,and many more).
We have not seen them all, but I will just show you the one of the most meaningful places for Americans; Independence Hall. We call this the birthplace of the American nation, as the signing of the Declaration of Independence took place here in 1776.
It was a genuine pleasure to return a second time ( the first time in 1992), to Independence Hall.
But, in order to have the privilege in our “after 9/11” era, it takes a bit of work.Those days when you could just walk into the courtyard and queue up outside are now gone with the wind.
You need a free ticket that you get from the National Parks booth in the Independence Visitors center(just across the street from Independence Hall). You will receive ticket with a reserved time slot. You then must go early enough to make it through security at the Hall entrance.Click here for the Independence Visitor Center website; you have lots of resources for Philadelphia trip planning.
To get back to the guided tour at Independence Hall…
When you make it to your group, a National Parks guide will take you through and highlight the visit with some History and anecdotes about the Declaration of Independence and the founding fathers. It is all very informative.
The key date is 4 July,1776. That was the date that the document was at least finalized. It seems according to what I see on the wiki page here, the signing could have taken place a month later. But, the USA has always considered 4 July as its birthday.
I now present you: Independence Hall. Enjoy!
Independence Hall seen from the courtyard.
The meeting room where the Continental Congress drafted and signed the Declaration of Independence. If I remember what the ranger said, only Franklin’s chair is actually from the time of the Declaration of Independence.
This dark round chair is said to be Benjamin Franklin’s chair. The park ranger told us how Franklin was already old and ill at this point in his life. But, he would be carried in to follow the proceedings.
If that chair could only talk; the things it would have to say!
This is not related to the spot where the signing took place, but across it. This corner used to be a courthouse:
Except perhaps for that caged stand, you would not think of a trial going on here. Times have really changed in the former colony…
I wonder if some of the founding fathers burst out this same exit to shout the news about the birth of a new nation? We are perhaps walking in their footsteps…
My personal experience was stronger than one that I had in 1992. I have matured. This was no longer just “another stop” in the day’s tour. It had a greater meaning the second time around.
I got out of the Hall and I looked at my hubby. I said ” I am proud to be American“. I haven’t felt such authentic patriotism coming from me in years. It is good to come back to one’s sources.