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6 Interactive Exhibits at the National Constitution Center
September 8, 2023 By CityPASS
Philadelphia is the city for American history enthusiasts. It's home to the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the iconic National Constitution Center.
The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia is dedicated to promoting a deeper understanding of the United States Constitution and the principles of American democracy. It serves as a museum, education center, and forum for public dialogue on constitutional issues. With all it has to offer, it's no wonder why National Constitution Center reviews are so glowing.
Experience the U.S. National Constitution Center Like Never Before
Opened to the public on July 4, 2003, the National Constitution Center is an institution for disseminating information and inspiring nonpartisan public discussions about the U.S. Constitution.
You've likely seen photos of the National Constitution Center by G. Widman, which spotlight the center's exhibits, educational and public programs, and special events.
One such event is the annual Supreme Court national town hall — titled America's Town Hall. At this event, experts engage attendees in discussion about the proceedings of Clarence Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, Neil M. Gorsuch, and the rest of the Supreme Court justices' most significant rulings during the most recent term.
However, the National Constitution Center isn't only about discourse. Your visitor experience will take you through 160,000 square feet of interactive exhibits, real-life artifacts, and a stunning 360-degree multimedia production. You'll even come face-to-face with life-size bronze statues of the founding fathers. So, continue reading to plan your trip to the National Constitution Center.
6 Interactive Museum Exhibits at the National Constitution Center
If you're looking for cool things to do in Philly, there's something for the whole family when you explore the history of The United States of America.
But if you're wondering, "Where is the National Constitution Center?" the answer is easier than you think. Located only blocks from Independence Hall, the National Constitution Center is at 525 Arch Street in Old Town Philadelphia.
Once you're there, check out these six interactive museum exhibits.
1. Interactive Constitution: Explore the Constitution in a Dynamic Way
Since its launch in 2015, the Interactive Constitution, accessible via an online app, has become one of the highlights of the National Constitution Center.
Using this tool, you can navigate state-of-the-art technology to explore the Constitution's articles, amendments, and clauses. Each element is accompanied by engaging explanations and historical context, helping you better understand its structure and content. Expert commentary also highlights where scholars agree and disagree about various constitutional interpretations.
Interactive Constitution allows you to engage with this historical document actively, making it come alive and fostering a greater appreciation for its significance.
2. The Story of We the People: Bringing the Constitution to Life With Multimedia
As you enter the exhibit of The Story of We the People, you'll immediately be enveloped in a dynamic and immersive environment. Designed to express the continuing influence of the Constitution, The Story of We the People offers a rotating collection of rare historical artifacts laid out in two concentric circles.
This immersive exhibit also utilizes multimedia technology to create a compelling narrative that traces the constitutional journey from its inception to the present day. The Story of We the People showcases pivotal moments and figures in the constitutional narrative through video presentations, audio recordings, historical documents, and interactive elements.
You and your family will be transported into the nation's constitutional history.
3. The 19th Amendment: How Women Won the Vote
In a significant step forward for equality, Congress passed the 19th Amendment on June 4, 1919, and ratified it on August 18, 1920, finally guaranteeing American women the right to vote.
The 19th Amendment: How Women Won the Vote explores the historical struggle for women's suffrage in the United States. It delves into the inspiring story of how women fought tirelessly for their right to vote, highlighting the challenges they faced and the groundbreaking achievements that led to the ratification of the 19th Amendment.
Beginning with the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848, the exhibit boasts interactive displays, media presentations, and artifacts from the time. The interactive displays introduce key women's suffrage movement figures — such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Sojourner Truth — and share the stories of suffragettes fighting for equal representation in American democracy.
4. Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality
As one of the most transformative periods in American history, the Civil War and subsequent Reconstruction era continue to shape the makeup of the United States to this day.
At the Civil War and Reconstruction exhibit, you'll be transported back to the tumultuous years of the mid to late 19th century. The exhibition presents a compelling narrative highlighting the causes and consequences of the Civil War, the fight for human freedom, and the reshaping and rebuilding of the nation during the Reconstruction era.
This exhibit is fascinating in its nuanced exploration of slavery, states' rights issues, and regional tensions that precipitated this critical chapter in American history.
5. Constituting Liberty: From the Declaration to the Bill of Rights
From presidential debates to constitutional conversations, Constituting Liberty explores the principles, ideas, and historical events that shaped the nation's founding documents.
This exhibit is home to one of only 12 surviving copies of the Bill of Rights, a first-edition stone engraving of the Declaration of Independence, and a rare copy of the first printing of the Constitution. It emphasizes the evolution of American liberty and the ongoing work to uphold the nation's principles.
6. American Treasures: Documenting the Nation’s Founding
American Treasures is a remarkable showcase of the nation's most precious historical documents. Including a handwritten draft by Pennsylvania delegate James Wilson, the exhibit features five total drafts of the U.S. Constitution as it evolved.
This exhibit goes beyond the mere display of these iconic documents by offering interactive elements, including touchscreen displays and additional technology that offers visitors a deep dive into the creation of the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution.
Dive Into Constitutional Education and Explore Philadelphia With a CityPASS® Ticket
Explore U.S. history with National Constitution Center tickets and more when you book your Philadelphia CityPASS® tickets and save up to during your visit to Philadelphia.
CityPASS® tickets will grant you access to all the best things to do in Philadelphia, including the Philadelphia Zoo, The Franklin Institute, National Constitution Center, Adventure Aquarium, and more.
To get the most out of your stay in Philadelphia, we recommend finding lodging near Philadelphia's top attractions. Use this map to find the right lodging for you:
Header Image Photo by Jason Miczek. Courtesy of the National Constitution Center.