Independence Hall - Philadelphia, PA - Travel Thru History

if you're in Philadelphia then you're on

American revolutionary ground zero

Independence Hall the birthplace of the

Declaration of Independence is right in

downtown Philly inside these hallowed

walls are where America's founding

fathers feverishly debated the tenants

of the world's first constitutional

democracy and plotted insurrection

against the British crown my name is

William Watson

I'm a national park ranger at

Independence National Park in

Philadelphia when you come here to

Independence Hall you're gonna see most

importantly the birthplace of the United

States you can see the original building

you have the room where the Declaration

of Independence is the baton signs which

the birth of the United States you also

have the room 12 years after that where

the Constitution of the United States is

the baton sign on June 14 1775 the

Second Continental Congress with

representatives from all thirteen

original colonies nominate George

Washington as commander-in-chief of the

army and set on the road towards

drafting the world's most famous

strongly-worded letter that's where the

Second Continental Congress took place

and that's where they argued and voted

in secret with the shutters closed for

that Declaration of Independence this is

the assembly room where independence is

debated and declared in 1775 and


it's where twelve years after that the

United States Constitution is debated

between May and September of 1787

formerly known as the State House of

Pennsylvania Independence Hall most

likely got its current name from the

French General Lafayette a man

instrumental in helping the colonists

defeat the British he visited the State

House offensive a

and when he came out he called it the

Hall of Independence

so he made via the guy who named it

Philly was like the place to be during

the period between the writing of the

Declaration of Independence and the

Constitution all the greats were there

Jefferson John Adams Samuel Adams

Washington Patrick Henry and of course

the most famous local Benjamin Franklin

is here for both occasions

Franklin is for the most revered

statesmen inventors scientists in the

world at that time it's here for the

Declaration of Independence debates for

the Constitutional Convention 12 years

later turns out Jefferson had some help

writing the Declaration there was John

Adams there was mention Franklin there

was robert Livingston from New York

there was Roger Sherman from Connecticut

then there was Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson is probably of course the main

writer of this document people know

Jefferson is the main author today did

you know there are over 80 changes to

Jefferson's version of the Declaration

he made some final tweaks that really

made it spectacular Jefferson was so

despondent because they made so many

changes in his document that he did what

a lot of us do when were depressed he

went shopping he the best chopping ball

went down the middle of Market Street he

bought a thermometer he bought strings

for his musical instruments and he

bought 14 pairs of ladies clubs must

have been the presidential sale

he changed the original phrasing pursuit

of property the pursuit of happiness

which is a which is a very wide opening

statement so he also said the

governments are made by people so if

they're made by people that means that

there are we have the ability to change

them the procedures that are not working

for us

it wasn't until July 8 when all the

bells in the city were ringing that a

crowd of 2,000 gathered behind the State

House of Pennsylvania

and the sheriff came out to read the

declaration to the public the first

public reading of the Declaration and

they went file and they stormed through

the city wherever they could find the

image of King George the third they took

it down and they burnt it

they had bonfires going all that night

fireworks going off cannons shooting it

was a big event you've heard the phrase

sign your John Hancock on the dotted

line that's because John Hancock's

signature is the largest one of the


it's sort of a apocryphal story that he

signed it to where the good King George

Missouri could see it and we don't know

if that's true or not possibly he signed

it he saw it at first so he signed his

name largest sport remember that the

document wasn't signed all at the same