You might have trouble finding a city brimming with more history than Philadelphia. Besides being home to many of the nation’s “firsts”, including the first library, hospital, zoo, and national capital, Philadelphia was the city where the political and philosophical underpinnings of the American Revolution were hammered out. The Museum of the American Revolution is dedicated to telling this story. 

In Independence National Historical Park, you’ll find an abundance of historic landmarks associated with the founding of the United States, including Independence Hall, where the Declaration and Constitution came into being, and the Liberty Bell.

Of course, the story of the United States can’t be reduced to a collection of documents and political philosophies. The Franklin Institute is a science museum, founded in 1824, whose purpose was to solidify America’s independence through scientific progress. It is home to the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial, which celebrates the life and legacy of the legendary man of politics, diplomacy, and science.

Philadelphia’s significance to the nation didn’t disappear with the moving of the capital in 1800. As a center of the abolitionist movement, Philadelphia continued to make its mark on history. The African American Museum in Philadelphia is dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of African American people and the long fight for freedom and equality.

And at the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History, visitors can learn about the history and culture of Jewish people in America, spanning from colonial times to the present. One of the museum’s exhibits spotlighted George Washington’s 1790 letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island, in which the recently-elected first president of the United States wrote of the government’s religious policy: freedom and equality for people of all faiths.

Worth Checking Out

  • Independence National Historical Park
  • The Franklin Institute
  • Museum of the American Revolution
  • African American Museum in Philadelphia
  • Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History

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