Releases: Expanded View
Aspiring Citizens Get Study Help With New Americans Trail
Candidates For Citizenship Can Boost Their Knowledge In The Places Where It All Happened
Prepping for the U.S. citizenship test is no small task, but Philadelphia’s self-guided New Americans Tour makes learning easier—and a whole lot more fun. The city contains approximately half the answers to the 100-question citizenship test study. This means aspiring citizens and others students of U.S. history can glean the knowledge they seek simply by paying visits to Philly’s historic sites and attractions. Best place to start: the Historic District, the original city—and a very pedestrian-friendly one at that. The trail is available at visitphilly.com/newamericans.
Here’s a look at the 16 tour spots:
- Betsy Ross House, where the upholsterer is credited with creating the nation’s original red, white and blue banner. Appearances by Betsy herself and the freed slave Phillis, who toils away in the laundry room, depict the life of a working colonial woman. 239 Arch Street, historicphiladelphia.org
- Independence Hall, the spot where in 1776 delegates from the 13 colonies gathered and adopted the Declaration of Independence to break away from British rule. This spot is also where the U.S. Constitution was debated and adopted in 1787. 5th & Chestnut Streets, nps.gov/inde
- Liberty Bell Center, home to the cracked but mighty Bell that has served as an international symbol of freedom. A short film available in English and eight other languages traces how abolitionists, suffragists and other groups adopted the bell as a symbol of freedom. 6th & Market Streets, nps.gov/inde
- Congress Hall, the meeting place for the first Congress and the site of George Washington’s and John Adams’ presidential inaugurations. Visitors can learn how the House of Representatives and Senate came to be called the “upper” and “lower” houses. 5th & Chestnut Streets, nps.gov/inde
- National Constitution Center, the place to learn about the most influential four-page document in U.S. history. Hands-on activities, artifacts and a powerful multimedia production delve into the roles, responsibilities and evolution of the nation’s three branches of government. 525 Arch Street, constitutioncenter.org
- Benjamin Franklin Museum, all about the life of the man who signed the Declaration of Independence and helped shape the U.S. Constitution. Interactive exhibits and computer animations reveal how his accomplishments as a printer, inventor, scientist and international diplomat influenced the creation of the American form of government. 317 Chestnut Street, nps.gov/inde
- The President’s House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation, an open-air venue that explores the paradox of slavery and freedom at the nation’s first executive mansion. Videos tell the stories of Hercules, Oney Judge and the other enslaved people who served George and Martha Washington. 6th & Market Streets, nps.gov/inde
- Second Bank of the United States, re-opened in 2016 after a massive renovation. The exhibit here traces the development of the nation through portraits of George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, signers of the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution and other significant figures in America’s history. 420 Chestnut Street, nps.gov/inde
- Olympia, the world’s oldest surviving steel warship still afloat. This ship led the first victory at sea during the Spanish-American War and was Admiral Dewey’s flagship during the Battle of Manila Bay. The admiral’s quarters, sailors’ sleeping hammocks, gun turrets and other artifacts offer a glimpse into life at sea during the 19th century. 211 S. Columbus Boulevard, phillyseaport.org
- The African American Museum in Philadelphia, celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2017, ethe lives and contributions of people of the Africa Diaspora. In addition to topical temporary exhibitions, the permanent Audacious Freedom traces the experiences of African-Americans in Philadelphia from 1776 to 1876. 701 Arch Street, aampmuseum.org
- National Museum of American Jewish History, following 360 years of Jewish life in America and the immigrant experience. In the free first-floor gallery, visitors can see Einstein’s pipe and Spielberg’s first camera. 101 S. Independence Mall East, nmajh.org
- Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent, where artifacts dating from the
17th century to the present tell the stories of people’s experiences as new Americans. Here visitors can discover Philadelphia in miniature on the world’s largest map of the city. 15 S. 7th Street, philadelphiahistory.org
- Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP), an essential resource for anyone searching for information about the history of Pennsylvania and the lives of the people who live here. With more than 21 million printed and graphic items in its collection, the HSP is a premier center for the documentation and study of ethnic communities and immigrant experiences. 1300 Locust Street, hsp.org
- U.S. Mint, brainchild of Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton and approved by Congress in 1792. Money is made still in the Historic District’s modern descendant of the original Mint building, which offers a video and free, self-guided tours. 151 Independence Mall East, (215) 408-0114, usmint.gov
- Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, founded by Bishop Richard Allen in 1794 and the mother church of the nation’s first black denomination. This active church occupies the oldest parcel of land continuously owned by African-Americans. 419 S. 6th Street, (215) 925-0616, motherbethel.org
- Museum of the American Revolution, the newest addition to the oldest part of the Historic District. This museum houses a discoverable archive of artifacts from the battles that made the war that created the United States of America. Some standouts: General Washington’s headquarters tent, Patrick Henry’s law books and rare arms from both sides of the struggle. Open April 19, 2017. 101 S. 3rd Street, (215) 253-6731, amrevmuseum.org
Philadelphia’s Historic District campaign, from VISIT PHILADELPHIA®, showcases the city’s incomparable place in early American history and the still vibrant neighborhoods of Old City, Society Hill and the Delaware River Waterfront. The campaign celebrates America’s most historic square mile in the country’s first World Heritage City, as designated by the Organization of World Heritage Cities. Funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development and H.F. (Gerry), the initiative runs through September 2018.
Between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, visitors can engage with costumed history makers, hear stories of the real people of independence and take part in colonial reenactments. And every day of the year, they can tour, shop, dine and drink in the area just like the founding fathers and mothers once did. For more information about all there is to see and do in Historic Philadelphia, go to visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com.
Fact Sheet: 31 Top Philadelphia Region Attractions
* Note: Most attractions were listed in the Philadelphia Business Journal Book of Lists 2015. Those that were not are marked with an asterisk.
Historical Sites & Attractions:
- The African American Museum in Philadelphia*, founded in 1976, is the first institution built by a major U.S. city to preserve, interpret and exhibit the heritage and culture of African-Americans. The museum takes a fresh and bold look at the stories of African-Americans and their role in the founding of the nation through the core exhibit Audacious Freedom. Other exhibits and programs explore the history, stories and cultures of those of African
Fact Sheet: Historic Philadelphia Trail
The birthplace of the nation is rich in history—and plenty of it. Philadelphia's Historic District Trail guides visitors to 24 essential sites in the area, which spans from the Delaware River to 7th Street and from Vine to Lombard Streets. This is the original city. It boasts serious historical cred, but it’s also home to buzzed-about restaurants and beer gardens, owner-operated boutiques and pushing-the boundaries art galleries.
Here is the 24-stop essential guide, available at visitphilly.com/historic:
- Visitors can head to the Independence Visitor Center to pick up their timed tickets to Independence Hall and get expert Philly tips.
Historic Philadelphia Timeline, 1681 To 1801
- King Charles II grants William Penn the Charter of Pennsylvania, which includes an immense tract of land as settlement of a debt owed to Penn’s father, Admiral William Penn. The King names the colony Pennsylvania in honor of Admiral Penn. William Penn begins plans for his “holy experiment” and hopes it will be the “seed of a nation.” His Commonwealth will assure religious tolerance, fair trials, freedom of speech and enlightened laws.
- William Penn leaves England, sets sail across the Atlantic and arrives in Philadelphia, his “City of Brotherly Love.” Find more information at the Philadelphia History Museum,
The African-American Story From Its Beginnings In Philadelphia's Historic District
Philadelphia’s Historic District, the site of the original city and often called America’s most historic square mile, reveals early chapters in the nation’s history, including the challenges, injustices, accomplishments and contributions of Africans and African-Americans.
This year, the Historic District’s African American Museum in Philadelphia celebrates its 40th anniversary. The groundbreaking institution hosts two temporary exhibitions through April 2, 2017. Shawn Theodore’s Church of Broken Pieces explores the translocation of black America through photography. Dawoud Bey’s Harlem, USA resurrects the photographer’s iconic 1979 portraits of residents of one of the country’s most diverse neighborhoods. The district is also home...
16 Things To Know: African-American Philadelphia
Strength In Numbers:
- The 2010 U.S. Census reported 661,839—that’s 43.37%—of Philadelphians are African-American, the city’s second largest ethnic demographic. More recent estimates show this population has increased by approximately 1% in the past six years.
- The largest concentration—82%—of African-American Philadelphians live in North Philadelphia west of Germantown Avenue, Point Breeze in South Philadelphia, West Philadelphia and in parts of Southwest Philadelphia.
- Important African-American business corridors include 52nd Street between Walnut and
Arch Streets and Baltimore Avenue between 40th and 52nd Streets, both in West Philadelphia; and Stenton Avenue between Broad Street and Walnut Lane and Ogontz
Fact Sheet: Historic Philadelphia Campaign
CAMPAIGN NAME: Historic Philadelphia
- Increase visitation in and around Historic Philadelphia
- Increase engagement among those who visit the area, so they will stay overnight, do more and spend more
DURATION: May 2016 through 2017
The campaign redefines and renames Historic Philadelphia, an area that runs from the Delaware River to 7th Street and from Vine to Lombard Streets—Philadelphia’s original city. It encompasses the following areas:
- Delaware River waterfront
- Old City
- Society Hill
- Independence National Historical Park
BUDGET: $2 million
- H. F. (Gerry) Lenfest
- Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development
New Reasons To Visit Historic Philadelphia This Summer
Philadelphia’s historic district—now called Historic Philadelphia—simmers with summer excitement as the city’s oldest neighborhood debuts new activities and exhibitions. Visitors launch their very own presidential campaigns in Headed to the White House at the National Constitution Center, and the Independence Seaport Museum mischievously observes sailors’ lives from the 20th century through today. Along popular Penn’s Landing, outdoor hangouts Summerfest and Spruce Street Harbor Park promise more fun than ever, and Fourth of July bash Wawa Welcome America injects fresh components to a good old-fashioned block party.
A two-day Historic Philadelphia Pass makes the must-dos even easier—and more affordable. The pass,...
Nighttime Is The Right Time To Return To Philadelphia's Historic District
As day turns to dusk and museums and landmarks close for the night, Philadelphia's Historic District is just gearing up for a night of fun. Theaters, play places and ghost tours keep youngsters amused until pajama time, while beer gardens, dance clubs and live music venues entertain the over-21 crowd well into the wee hours.
Here’s how the Historic District buzzes with activity long after the clock strikes 5 p.m.:
End-of-day play at Franklin Square includes an award-winning playground, eclectic carousel and 18-hole mini-golf course with scale versions of iconic Philadelphia landmarks (open until 9 or 10
Celebrate A Red, White And Blue July 4th In Philadelphia
Birthdays deserve big celebrations—and nobody will celebrate America’s 240th better than Philadelphia, the city where it all began. June 27 through July 4, 2016, Wawa Welcome America! will rock the town with red, white and blue festivities that culminate in a four-day weekend of free concerts featuring Tony-nominated Leslie Odom, Jr. of Broadway’s monster hit Hamilton, Bryshere Gray, also known as Yazz, of TV’s blockbuster Empire and myriad more stars of all stripes. The eight-day celebration also includes three dazzling fireworks shows, the Historic Philadelphia Block Party, parades, patriotic ceremonies, not to mention chance encounters with our Founding Fathers...