30. Jun, 2016

28-29.06.16 Gladwyne, Pennsylvania and a visit to Philadelphia

The last few nights we have spent with Marc and Ang Breuer who have been incredibly hospitable to us.  So much so, we could be tempting to move in permanently with them!

Whilst Ang went out and was busy cycling in preperation for a weeks cycling vacation in Texas, coming up soon, Marc took us in to the beautiful city of Philadelphia to have a look at the history.

We visited the Liberty Bell in it's home, Independence and Constitution Hall, and Benjamin Franklin's museum at the site of his home on Market Street.

Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly Isaac Norris first ordered a bell for the bell tower in 1751 from the Whitechapel Foundry in London. That bell cracked on the first test ring. Local metalworkers John Pass and John Stow melted down that bell and cast a new one in Philadelphia. The State House bell became a herald of liberty in the 19th century. "Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants thereof," the bell's inscription, provided a rallying cry for abolitionists wishing to end slavery. The Anti-Slavery Record, an abolitionist publication, first referred to the bell as the Liberty Bell in 1835, but that name was not widely adopted until years later. Millions of Americans became familiar with the bell in popular culture through George Lippard's 1847 fictional story "Ring, Grandfather, Ring", when the bell came to symbolize pride in a new nation. Beginning in the late 1800's, the Liberty Bell traveled across the country for display at expositions and fairs, stopping in towns small and large along the way. For a nation recovering from wounds of the Civil War, the bell served to remind Americans of a time when they fought together for independence. Movements from Women's Suffrage to Civil Rights embraced the Liberty Bell for both protest and celebration.

Construction on the building of Independence Hall started in 1732. Built to the Pennsylvania State House, the building originally housed all three branches of Pennsylvania's colonial government. The Pennsylvania legislature loaned their Assembly Room out for the meetings of the Second Continental Congress and later, the Constitutional Convention. Here, George Washington was appointed Commander in Chief of the Continental Army in 1775, the Articles of Confederation were adopted in 1781, and Benjamin Franklin gazed upon the "Rising Sun" chair in 1787.

A lot of American history there, which was very interesting, particularly reading extracts from the American Constitution, and the pursuit of an equal and idealistic country, with ideas that still seem relevant today.

Thank you Marc, a most enjoyable day.