Thursday, August 7, 2008

Liberty and Independence

Independence National Historic Park occupies several city blocks in the old part of Philadelphia near the Delaware River. The Liberty Bell is now on display in its own building, room for information displays like in the photo above. The bell is at the end of the building with a view of Independence Hall through a glass wall. The picture below shows the bell from the glass wall.

Independence Hall, completed in 1756, was originally the State House of the Province of Pennsylvania. The building contained a room for the judiciary, assembly meetings and an office, meeting room and space for official business by the governor.

The tower features clocks on each side, still keeping time after all these years

The judges sat in the chairs shown below. The jury sat in seats along the walls to the left and right, The witnesses sat on a raised platform to the left of the judges and the defendant stood in the dock in front of the judges.

In this room, representatives for the colonies met to draft, revise and adopt three of the most significant documents in our history: the Declaration of Independence in 1776; the Articles of Confederation in 1781; and the Constitution in 1787. The Constitution was not ratified by the states until amended to add the Bill of Rights. Although the furniture is from theat period, the only original item is the chair where George Washington sat as he presided over the meetings (facing the other tables and chairs).

For more photos of our trip to Philadelphia see Marianne's blog and my other blog.

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