A History Lesson

My knowledge of American history is appalling and bordering on non-existent but it got a huge boost yesterday when we were in Philadelphia.  Little did I know that it was, for a time, the capital of the United States as well as being the city where both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed.

This house is where Thomas Jefferson rented a room when he wrote the Declaration of Independence.

This was the home of Betsy Ross who made the first Stars and Stripes flag for the United States.  It is open to the public so we took a walk through it and then ate our lunch at a table in the courtyard.

We joined hundreds of others in a walk through of displays about the history of the Liberty Bell.  It is interesting that one inanimate object can whip up such fervour and I struggle with the whole concept of celebrating liberty and freedom whilst there slavery in the southern states.

Our final stop was a guided tour of Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed.  The guide was both entertaining and informative.

The interesting thing about both this precinct and the National Mall in Washington DC is that they are both National Parks.  In Australia, National Parks are the dedicated to the preservation of our natural environment rather than built heritage.

Today was a complete change of pace as we caught the train to New York.  We arrived about 2pm, negotiated our way to our accommodation which was about a 1km walk.  The most difficult part was working out how to get out of Penn Station.  This evening we caught the subway to Times Square.  That was an overwhelming experience and found the two theatres were we hope to see shows in the next couple of days.

We have a bit of a strategic plan as there is a fair bit we want to achieve here in just 3 full days.  It is probably total madness but we are going to give it a go.

More about New York later.

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