Travel with Bennett-Watt and discover the state of Pennsylvania.
Visit the State of PennsylvaniaHost: Pennsylvania, in the 21st century. A remarkable contrast of culture and lifestyle; rich in history, the land that was to become Pennsylvania was given to young Quaker radical, William Penn in the late 1600s in settlement of the death honored to his father by the king.Once the deal was made, the young Penn were shipped off to the new world where he established a community, based on Quaker principles of tolerance, equality, and religious free will. “Hands woods” or “forest” the literal translation of Pennsylvania is exactly that. The rolling hills, farmlands, ragged force to mountain ranges of the second US state, posses a wealth of treasure human or otherwise.One for the original 13 colonies, Pennsylvania is mostly rural landscape is punctuated by two significant urban centers; thats Pittsburg in the west and the countrys fifth largest city, Philadelphia in the east; between hundreds of small rural communities, thousands of miles of farmland and forested mountains.Meryl Levitz: Many of our visitors say that Philadelphia is very European in feel and thats funny to me because in so many ways, Philadelphia is the most American of cities. This is where democracy, our country, our constitutional, the declaration of independence, the Liberty bell was invented. But I know what they mean because its a historic town inside the big city and the scale of the city, the number of trees, the small streets, the cobblestones, and the architecture. The fact that we never had a major earthquake or fire, so that everything that was here is still here. Just gives you that very durable feel..People come here; they want to feel very red, white, and blue. They want to understand how it could have all happened and what amazing series of circumstances brought the Ben Franklins and Thomas Jeffersons and the John Adamsons and everyone else all together here.They want to walk where they walked, they want to soak up the feeling, they want to be proud to be American and they want the story told of how those group of men just came together, and risks their lives or fortunes and their sacred honor to establish something that has become the hallmark of individual and collective freedom. So, its a big deal. Its a pilgrimage.Host: The historic buildings are everywhere you turn. In downtown Philadelphia, this little hotel at Penns Landing, along Delaware River is a refurbished 1800s warehouse. A few blocks away, the Betsy Ross house, the Quakers seamstress who reported was sew the first American flag.Meryl Levitz: I dont usually use the word adorable but, this is an adorable street. Its called Elfreths Alley and it is the oldest, continuously occupied street in America. And many of the homes there are called trinities; to the Father, Son and Holy Ghost because theyre very narrow, and the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. If you lived there, you have to do very athletic because youre going up and down all the time.A couple times a year, they do festivals, they also invite people to tour their homes, and it is Elfreths Alley because its as wide as it ever was. Nothing was every ton to widen it, thats just how streets are. So, its a big attraction and the people there are very used to welcoming strangers. They know that they lived on one the most things streets in American and thats part of their duty.The Independence Visitor Center is brand new. Its not even two years old and its already welcomed its two million visitors. Any center that is built from now on will use this one as a model. And its a wonderful orientation; its a while in itself. Some people go because you shop there, eat there, see movies there; all that sort of thing. But other people want to know, where will do I start and this answer the question, you start here.Host: Painted by William Birch and his son Thomas, this collection brings alive the romance of early Philadelphia.Phil Sheridan: This is Independence National Historical Park here in the heart of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Its an important part for many reasons, most notably because the building behind me which was originally called the State House. But we know it better today as Independence Hall. It was here in 1776 that we declared our independence from England. And again, in 1787 that delegates meeting here with George Washington as the—of this group, wrote our constitution.Independence Hall is not a church, its not a mosque, its not a--. We do not have a state religion but it is a holy place that people come to, thats not affiliated with any real religion. Its Independence Hall because again, people realized that something very special happened in that. The birth of United States but more so the birth of ideas, the ideas that people can be free. But youre really not American ideals but the human ideals that cause to people from all over the world.We are also the home to the liberty bell which for about 93 years rang in the tower of Independence Hall and then cracked, and never rang again. But nevertheless has become an international symbol of freedom attained, and freedom not yet achieved.If you walk through the park, youll find a number of spectacular buildings that really talked about life in the 18th century. If you actually from the 19th century, as we we're beginning this country, Carpenters Hall is famous not only because of the Carpenters company but perhaps more so because it was the site of the first Continental Congress that met here in Philadelphia. And offered what people call the olive branch. The peace offering to the king of England but it was too late by then the king declared that the colonies were in open rebellions. So, the second continental congress met up here in Independence Hall and said “Lets just declare independence.”But if you walk down toward Carpenters Hall, you also pass some spectacular architecture. Youll pass the second bank of the United States. It looks like the park on it. Its a virtual copy by a named Strickland; its also the first bank in the United States, why? Because we were the center in Philadelphia of the early Federal Banking System and the economic power of the country really started around this area in terms of the banking industry.Host: Tourist tour Independence Hall run on a regular schedule and are free with a ticket from the Independence Visitor Center. Arc rangers are excellent at bringing to life the formation of this great country.Rick Starr: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Independence Hall. With the building it is historically significant for so many reasons. It is the building where the declaration of independence was signed. It is also the building where both of our constitutions were signed as well.So in 1787, in the very same room where declaration of independence we're signed, a different group of risks takers, came here to Independence Hall. Many of them realized that our nation had come to a crossroad. Where people going to really start to think of themselves as a nation or nothing more than a collection of independent minded 13 former of colony. So, did not come easy, the constitutional convention met for nearly four months, they ended up creating the constitution, the one that we still ultimately are following to this very day.Host: Along the Schuylkill River, Philadelphias Fairmount Park. The largest landscape city park in the world, 8900 acres, and a year around Fairmount escape with over 100 miles of trails for hikers and bikers.Meryl Levitz: Rowing is really big here, sculling and can be done by men and women, any day no matter what the weather. And as soon as dawn cracks, there are people rowing on that river. And its just part of what you expect to see on that river. Everybody here wants to be on the water in some way.
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