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The 4th in Philly….

began at Independence Hall……..a celebration in the park in front…including the Mayor…with the richness of history all around….quite awe inspiring…

Afterwards a brief look at the first court house …used for the Supreme Court Judges…who …we were informed did double duty at their inception….2 months a year…in that role ….February…and August…as our guide informed us…two of the most miserable months to be in Philadelphia….the other months they presided as well on lower court cases.. leading Chief Justice John Jay to quit after a few years…

A look at the Liberty Bell….gave a precursor to a major change in how history is taught these days……in equal parts….the history learned as a child….and African American…Women…..global….

Reminds this writer of a series on T.V. when the actors need an equal amount of lines…in the second season…

Same was found at the National Constitution Center….which was still well worth the admittance fee….www.constitutioncenter.org

3 things stood out…..from the usual…this day…

1. In the Constitution displayed at the exhibit…”chuse”…not “choose.”….misspelling….www.usconstitution.net

2.In the center there is a display of models of the 3 branches of government…with a computer generated “cartoon” of each branch….playing a 3 sided…teeter-totter….as it shows the “checks and balances”…it ends with this quote by James Madison in 1788…”Ambition must be made to counteract ambition.”….

3. This one’s for the “messenger”…and the M&M’s….

President Taft in 1909…”Debate, dissent, discussion and compromise are at the heart of American politics.”

“We the people are constitutionally guaranteed the right to voice our opinions, no matter how unpopular they may be.”…

Free Speech was tested….near the square….protesters were kept at bay…only allowed a certain “zone” per a Landmark case decided here in June…

This was in addition to a report we heard before our arrival…that Tour Guides….are now being required to pass a test….or they must remain silent….a court case has just been enacted….stemming from freedom of speech…once again…

According to the attorney…if the city wants to provide “tested and approved” Tour Guides….so be it…but to try and silence citizens from speaking on public grounds….no way…look for this to make a few headlines….

Did the Philly cheese steak required eating for lunch…. had our choice….every other restaurant is a Philly cheese steak vendor….in between…sushi…..and each cheese steak restaurant….was the winner for the best….on a certain year…. they all must get their turn…

Walking all around…great crowds….with 4 types of tours….walking….bus…trolley and the “Ride the Duck” that takes you in the Delaware River...www.phillyducks.com

On the advice of a friend…we took the duck….fun…..informative….and a good way to get to see the river…

fireworks….tonight….Zambelli….is there anyone else doing fireworks?….www.zambellifireworks.com

We may not have had the sand sculpture…but fitting for Philly….Cheese-it the crackers…made a sculpture of our Forefathers out of a chunk of cheddar that weighed a ton!

more to come….

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