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Jun 19 2013

Philadelphia Commemorates Pivotal Battle Of Gettysburg

150th Anniversary Of Civil War Battle Launches Events & Exhibitions That Demonstrate Region’s Role In War Effort

This summer marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, and Philadelphia—a major arsenal, shipbuilding and hospital center during the Civil War and home to Gettysburg general George G. Meade—is marking the anniversary with special events and exhibitions at historical sites and attractions throughout the region:


  • Grand Army of the Republic Museum and Library – The Gettysburg Trial of the Philadelphia Brigade presentation brings historian David Trout to remember the Philadelphia Brigade, which suffered a casualty rate of 64% over the course of the war, and recount its tribulations during the Battle of Gettysburg. July 20, 2014. 4278 Griscom Street, (215) 289-6484,
  • Fort Mifflin – Built in 1771, this Revolutionary-era fort-turned Civil War prison’s bowels were dungeon-like even during the 1860s. On Civil War Saturday, visitors to the prison, now a National Historic Landmark, learn to drill with a wooden musket, cook over an open hearth and participate in a scavenger hunt. Guided tours highlight the Casemates, once used as prison quarters. July 20, 2014. Fort Mifflin & Hog Island Road, (215) 685-4167,


  • Mercer Museum – The more than 300 artifacts and interactive stations that form the exhibit Turning Points: Civil War, 1863-1864 examine the military, social and political issues that confronted local citizens as the war reached its climax. Visitors spin a draft lottery wheel, listen to the voices of local citizens and soldiers in eight audio stations, explore a camp tent and cast a vote in the 1864 Lincoln-McClellan election. Through August 25, 2014. 84 S. Pine Street, Doylestown, (215) 345-0210,
  • Chester County Historical Society – On the Edge of Battle: Chester County and the Civil War delves into the county’s deep division over the war and the choices citizens made regarding the military effort. Visitors can digest these weighty questions while reviewing newspapers, letters and telegrams from the battlefront; photographs; medicine and doctors’ log books; interactive kids’ stations; and artifacts from Galusha Pennypacker (the youngest American brevet major general in history). A database searches county records for ancestors who fought in the war or served as abolitionists. Through September 28, 2014. 225 N. High Street, West Chester, (610) 692-4800,
  • Rosenbach Museum & Library – Letters and other dispatches give voice to Voices of 1863: Witnesses to the Civil War, an exhibition that pierces the events of 1863 with Lincoln’s handwritten notes and speeches about race and slavery and U.S. Grant’s personal letters to his family. Through January 5, 2014. In addition, the Sleuths & Spies hands-on tour includes an album belonging to a female Civil War spy. July 5, 2013. 2008 Delancey Place, (215) 732-1600,
  • The Heritage Center of The Union League of Philadelphia – Established as a pro-Lincoln Republican club in 1862, this private club opens its heritage center to the public twice a week. Philadelphia 1863: Turning the Tide shows off the podium that Lincoln stood behind when he gave the Gettysburg Address and the desk and chair General Meade used for his council of War on the eve of the battle. Through March 1, 2014. 140 S. Broad Street, (215) 587-6455,
  • Laurel Hill Cemetery – As the final resting place for General Meade, along with more than 40 other Civil War generals and countless volunteer nurses and surgeons, this historic cemetery hosts A House Divided: The Citizens, the Celebrated and the Seditious of Civil War Philadelphia. The exhibit includes a rotating installation at the cemetery gatehouse that spotlights the “Elite Eleven,” a group of military figures and citizens whose contributions to the war effort epitomize the people who lived during the war era. Through May 2014. 3822 Ridge Avenue, (215) 228-8200,
  • National Constitution Center – One of the only surviving signed copies of the Emancipation Proclamation hangs in the center for two months. In addition, this fall the Constitution Center is boosting its Civil War treatment, which now contains interactive exhibits on the Constitutional amendments governing slavery and its abolition, to include content that focuses on the Battle of Gettysburg and other events of 1863. July 25-September 22, 2014. 525 Arch Street, (215) 409-6700,

Permanent Collections:

  • The African American Museum in Philadelphia – The museum’s permanent exhibition—Audacious Freedom: African Americans In Philadelphia 1776-1876—details the journey toward freedom undertaken by African Americans in Philadelphia and chronicles the stories of the Underground Railroad and black soldiers in the Civil War. 701 Arch Street, (215) 574-0380,
  • Bucks County Civil War Round Table Library and Museum – The museum overflows with objects and books from Doylestown’s contributions to the war effort, including weapons, musical instruments, photos, a Lincoln Life Mask, a tome written by Jefferson Davis and CDs of the Internet radio show “Civil War Talk Radio.” 32 N. Broad Street, Doylestown, (215) 340-7164,
  • Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum and Library – The museum houses Grand Army of the Republic artifacts, books and memorabilia such as a blood-stained strip of pillowcase on which Lincoln lay dying, handcuffs (intended to use to kidnap the president) found in John Wilkes Booth’s suitcase, Confederate shoes worn at Gettysburg and the preserved head of Old Baldy, Meade’s beloved horse. 4278 Griscom Street, (215) 289-6484,
  • Meade Equestrian Monument – Alexander Milne Calder, the grandfather of the mobile artist Sandy Calder and the sculptor of many of the works on Philadelphia’s City Hall, made a huge statue of Meade atop his horse in 1887. It’s located near Memorial Hall in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, which Meade played a large role in designing. 43 S. Concourse Drive, (215) 686-1776
  • National Museum of American Jewish History – The museum’s Civil War collection aims to show that Jews experienced the war just like other Americans. Topics and items illustrate Jewish fighting on both sides of the conflict, Jewish soldiers practicing their faith during the war, Grant’s infamous Orders No. 11 that expelled Jews from Kentucky, Tennessee and Missouri and the commission for the first official Jewish chaplain. 101 S. Independence Mall East, (215) 923-3811,
  • The Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent – The museum holds a presentation sword awarded to Meade for his victory at the Battle of Gettysburg, portraits of former slaves who purchased their freedom and became abolitionists and armaments belonging to John Brown from his raid on Harper’s Ferry. 15 S. 7th Street, (215) 685-4830,

The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases business and promotes the region’s vitality.

For more information about travel to Philadelphia, visit or, where you can build itineraries; search event calendars; see photos and videos; view interactive maps; sign up for newsletters; listen to HearPhilly, an online radio station about what to see and do in the region; book hotel reservations and more. Or, call the Independence Visitor Center, located in Historic Philadelphia, at (800) 537-7676.

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Apr 16 2009

$1.5 Million African-American Histroy Exhibition Kicks Off Summer In Historic Philadelphia

New July Fourth Parade, Lincoln Celebration And Behind-The-Scenes Boat Tours Headline A Summer Of Discovery

This summer, Historic Philadelphia is home to brand-new attractions, activities and events, including the provocative new exhibition at The African American Museum in Philadelphia, Audacious Freedom: African Americans in Philadelphia, 1776-1876. After undergoing an extensive renovation, the city’s premier African-American museum will unveil its stunning permanent display on Juneteenth (June 19).

To discover Audacious Freedom and all of the other affordable—or free—attractions in Historic Philadelphia this summer, visitors will have to spend at least two nights. lists dozens of affordable hotel packages, including the popular Philly Overnight® Hotel Package, a two-night offer that comes with free hotel parking.

Feb 21 2008

15 Reasons To Make Philadelphia Your Summer Vacation Destination

Summer’s The Season For History, Arts, Sports, Music And More In Philly

Summer in Philadelphia has long been the ideal time to celebrate our nation’s independence. This year, visitors can also learn about the tales of real pirates, gaze at contemporary American artwork, watch potential Olympic gymnasts in action, take the Presidential Oath of Office and experience other annual events that make this accessible city a destination not to be missed. Plenty of affordable hotel package options make it easy for visitors to spend a few days here. To book the Philly’s More Summer Fun Hotel Package, which pairs a two-night hotel stay with a $50 gift card from American Express, visit

Mar 6 2015

Philly Region Festivals Celebrate Art, Music, Mushrooms & More

In The Towns Of The Philadelphia Countryside, There’s Always Something To Celebrate In 2015

With just the turn of the ignition key and within less than an hour, visitors to Philadelphia can explore the region’s quaint towns and charming settings. And what better way to discover them than with the homegrown festivals and events that celebrate their distinct personalities. Some festivities are quirky—think tens of thousands of folks coming together to pay tribute to the mushroom. Others honor the culinary talents of their hometown chefs or the creative handiwork of local artisans. While still others harken back to the town’s proud role in American history. Whatever the topic or the time of year, local

Aug 27 2014

2015 Annual Events In Philadelphia

So Much To Do For Any Kind Of Trip, Any Kind Of Interest

Festivals, athletic events, art shows, parades and cultural events keeps art lovers, garden enthusiasts, film connoisseurs, music aficionados and sports fans keep coming back to Philadelphia year after year. Here’s what’s going on in the region in 2015:


  • Thousands of decorative strutters kick off the New Year by marching along Broad Street in the festive daylong Mummers Parade. One of the five Mummers divisions, the Fancy Brigades put on two elaborate Broadway-style performances for ticket holders at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. January 1.


  • The region gets revved for the Philadelphia Auto Show. The Pennsylvania Convention
Jun 13 2014

How To Get On The Water In Philadelphia

Major Pro Fishing Tournament Just One Of The Region’s Many Fun Water Activities

Sport fishing fans will fall hook, line and sinker for the 2014 Bassmaster Elite Series Professional Tournament, taking place on Philadelphia’s Delaware River August 7-10, and just one of the many ways locals and visitors can enjoy life on the water in the Philadelphia region this summer. The catch-and-release competition marks Philadelphia’s first-ever major pro fishing tournament and will include launch-area activities on Penn’s Landing: concerts, vendors, military and veterans’ activities and an Expo Festival with family-friendly games and activities.

The competitors aren’t the only ones enjoying Philadelphia’s water-based activities. Making a splash this summer: a new pop-up park on

Mar 19 2014

Festivals Keep Philly Neighborhoods Hopping All Year Long

Books, Beer, Arts, America, Music, Movies & More Inspire Festivities

Philadelphians can always find a reason to get festive. It could be a gathering of artists and artisans in Manayunk, a traditional Yoruba-style street fair or zombies taking over South Street, a craft beer party on East Passyunk Avenue or a weekend celebrating all things Harry Potter in Chestnut Hill. Throughout the year, Philly’s neighborhoods make merry with special events and activities that reflect their distinctive personalities. Here’s a look at some of the mark-the-calendar happenings for 2014:


Benjamin Franklin Parkway:

  • For the fourth year running, the Philadelphia Science Festival unleashes nine days of exploratory exhibitions, lectures,
May 8 2013

In Philadelphia, See History In A Whole New Light

Benjamin Franklin Life & Legacy Museum To Open In Late Summer 2013

Philadelphia is brimming with historical riches, and the sites and attractions that show off the city’s historic side are constantly evolving to create richer experiences for modern-day visitors. This year brings upgrades, expansions and exhibitions designed to shine a new light on Philadelphia’s well-established historical attractions.

Renovated & Renewed:

  • The Pearl S. Buck Museum reopens after the completion of its eight-year interior restoration project on June 26, which would have been the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer’s 121st birthday. Tours of the national historic landmark home feature increased access to collections, including clothes that she wore, tableware and linens that
Mar 25 2013

Philly Neighborhoods Host Fun & Funky Festivals All Year Long

Seasonal Celebrations Pay Homage To Beer, Art, Music, Zombies & More

Philadelphians love their festivals. Whether it’s local artisans and craftspeople sharing their wares in West Philadelphia, a traditional Yoruba-style street fair on South Street, a craft beer party on East Passyunk Avenue or a re-enactment of the storming of the Bastille in Fairmount, there’s always a reason to celebrate in the authentically Philly neighborhoods outside of Center City. The following are some mark-the-calendar happenings for 2013:

Fishtown & Northern Liberties:

  • Lining the cobblestone street with artists of all stripes and genres, the Trenton Avenue Arts Festival includes the storied Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby, a quirky competition for the most
Feb 21 2013

Philly Neighborhoods Host Festivals Galore All Year Long

Seasonal Celebrations Pay Homage To Books, Beer, Arts, America, Music, Movies & More

Philadelphians love their festivals. Whether it’s local artisans and craftspeople sharing their wares on Penn’s Landing, a celebration of the fall season in Midtown Village, a traditional Yoruba-style street fair on South Street or a craft beer party on East Passyunk Avenue, there’s always a reason to celebrate in neighborhoods in and around Center City. The following are some mark-the-calendar happenings for 2013:


Benjamin Franklin Parkway:

  • For the third year running, the Philadelphia Science Festival will unleash 10 days of exploratory exhibitions, lectures, debates and hands-on activities on campuses, museums and other venues around the city, culminating