Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Philadelphia History

The Wanamaker Grand Court Organ is the largest working organ in the United States.  It is located in Philadelphia at Macy's Department Store.  It is played twice daily Monday through Saturday.  Peter Richard Conte, the current organist, is only the 4th person to hold this job since the organ's beginning in 1911.  

We were listening from the first floor.  However, the organist is situated on the 2nd floor.  

 Our next stop was at the Liberty Bell.  The bell became widely famous after an 1847 short story claimed that an aged bell-ringer rang it on July 4, 1776, upon hearing of the Second Continental Congress's vote for independence. While the bell could not have been rung on that Fourth of July, as no announcement of the Declaration was made that day, the tale was widely accepted as fact, even by some historians.

Continuing our historical tour, we stopped at Independence Hall.  As you can see they are doing renovations to the exterior of the hall.

Steven is standing in the room that would have been used by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

I am standing in the room where the Continental Congress met.  The chair just to my left would have been the one used by Benjamin Franklin.  The area behind my head was where George Washington sat  while the Constitution was drafted.

Because January is a slow tourist season in Philadelphia (I wonder why, only 9 inches of snow fell the night after we visited Independence Hall), we were allowed to visit the 2nd floor.  This is the room where the governor of Pennsylvania worked.

This is me walking through Chinatown in Philly.

We also visited one of the four mints in the United States.  The Philadelphia Mint along with Denver produce the circulating money.  That day we were able to watch pennies and nickels being made.

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