American History Study Guide

Philadelphia (Old City) • 9 stops

Museum of the American Revolution
The newly opened Museum of the American Revolution (MoAR) houses a multitude of artifacts explaining the history before, during and after the Revolutionary War. Interactive exhibits and historical tableaux brings the Revolution to life for people of all ages. Visitors will be awed at General Washington’s headquarters tent, and rare arms from both sides of the struggle.


Betsy Ross House
Betsy Ross is credited with the creation of the original thirteen star and stripped flag. Learn the history behind one of the most prominent symbols of the United States. Visitors will have the chance to interact with Betsy herself as well as the freed slave Phillis.


Independence Hall
In 1776, delegates from the thirteen colonies met within this hall to adopt the Declaration of Independence severing their union with the British monarchy. A little over ten years later, this was also the site where the U.S. Constitution was signed, creating a government for the newly formed United States of America.


Liberty Bell Center
Not only is the Liberty Bell a symbol of the United States but also an international symbol for freedom. Inside, visitors can watch a film (available in nine languages) detailing the value and meaning certain groups have placed on the bell in addition to their exhibitions.


Congress Hall
As Philadelphia served as the nation’s first capital from 1790-1800, Congress Hall was home to the first meetings of the United States Congress and the Presidential inaugurations of George Washington and John Adam. The interior of this building has authentic desks and seats arranged as they once were when the founding fathers were ratifying the Bill of Rights or admitting new states. 


National Constitution Center
Although the United States Constitution is only four pages long, its impact is monumental helping establish the nation’s three branches of government. Hands-on interactives and exhibits explain the roles, responsibilities and history of our founding government’s principles set forth by the Constitution.


Second Bank of the United States
This 19th-century building looks more like a Roman or Grecian temple than the second federal bank of the United States. Inside visitors can learn history though a collection of 18th and 19th century portraits, including George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and signers of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. 


The African American Museum in Philadelphia
The African American Museum in Philadelphia is the first institution built by a major U.S. city to preserve, interpret and exhibit the culture of African Americans. Their core exhibition, Audacious Freedom, highlights African American experiences in the birth of the nation. In addition, the African American Museum in Philadelphia offers temporary exhibitions filled with captivating African American art and history.


U.S. Mint
As the First Secretary of the Treasury for the United States, Alexander Hamilton established the first Philadelphia Mint in 1792. Although the first Philadelphia Mint is no longer standing, the current U.S. Mint is located only two blocks from the original location. Visitors can enjoy free, self-guided tours of the exhibits, videos that teach about our form of national currency and schedule behind-the-scene tours the facilities at the U.S. Mint.