Thursday, May 14, 2009

Philadelphia and Independence Hall

On April 25th, we went to Philadelphia for the day.  The weather was gorgeous - low 80's.  Our friend, Cortney is living in downtown doing post-doctorate work at the University of Pennsylvania.  We met her at her apartment and then walked down to Independence Hall.  Our tour guide did an amazing job bringing to life the events of our nation's birth.  He really captured my interest and I left wanting to know more - so I might just have to give in and read some of those books Matt has been recommending to me.  He is so interested in history and has been reading biographies of Abraham Lincoln and others.  I on the other hand, usually read fiction (if I read at all as my book club friends will attest to).  
This is the court room in Independence Hall.  We adopted many similarities from the British in our courtrooms.  One difference from today is that there is a box (sort of looks like a mini jail) in the center of the room where the person held at trial was literally made to "stand" trial so that everyone knew who was on trial.  Also, there are no doors to this courtroom as the room was built on the principle of open trials.  
The Assembly Room is where the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and Constitution were all signed.  It is amazing to think of the bravery of these men that put their live and the lives of their families at risk by seeking Independence.  I couldn't help but think of their commitment to their country and liberty.  These men had differences of opinions, but they managed to work through things to come up with solutions that would be for the better of our country.  Watching what goes on today, I worry that politicians are polarizing themselves from the other side and so worried about being right or promoting their own personal agendas, that they can no longer work together and compromise to find solutions.  
Cortney and I in the Assembly Room.
Matt and me in back of Independence Hall.

The Liberty Bell.  This bell was rung from the tower of Independence Hall to invite people to Independence Square to hear the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence.  It was later adopted by the abolitionists during the time they were working to free slaves as a symbol of freedom.  It was really unclear at the museum how the crack originally formed, but it rang for the last time to honor George Washington's birthday on February 26, 1846 when the cracked expanded and left the bell unringable.


Brian & Chelsey said...

Fun stuff! You guys have seen so much out there!! Makes me wish I had done the same! :)

Marian said...

Love all your blogging Robyn. It is all so interesting. I hated history until we lived back East. Living there and visiting all the historic sites just brings history alive. If you don't want to read pure history, read historical fiction - it is often filled with real history and centered around a fictional character. All these pictures just make me anxious to come and visit!

Matt said...

I do NOT have a gut as it appears in that picture.