One of the reasons many people come to the city of Philadelphia is to share in its history. Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the Betsy Ross House, Benjamin Franklin's grave, Congress Hall, the first post office and other important buildings are great places to visit to get an understanding and a feel for how the great country of the United States got its start.
Now, an incredible piece of America's history will also be available for visitors to see: one of the original copies of the Bill of Rights will take up residence for the next three years in the National Constitution Center.
The Declaration of Independence and the original Constitution (unamended) were written and signed in Philadelphia. The city is home to the most historic square mile in the country. The addition of this incredible document to the already history-rich area is an added bonus and a great honor.
Visit the National Constitution Center to check out one of the original copies of the USA's Bill of Rights — Photo courtesy of Alex Harden
This honor was made possible through an agreement with the New York Public Library, and the Bill of Rights went on display in Philadelphia on Dec. 15, 2014, which is Bill of Rights Day.
The document didn't just get put into any old room at the Constitution Center. A brand new exhibition hall – called the George H. W. Bush Gallery – was constructed to house it while it's in the city. Visitors can view it, as well as a rare first copy of the first public printing of the Declaration of Independence and a stone copy of it.
It's a humbling experience to be able to see the documents that were so important to the start of this country, and the source of such passion for our forefathers.
The Bill of Rights came about after the Constitution was in place, as a means to secure rights not outlined in that document. There are 10 amendments contained in it, and they serve to guarantee such freedoms as speech, religion, the right to a fair trial and the right to bear arms.
The U.S. has since identified itself through these freedoms, and it continues to define and shape itself through the rights created in this document. Americans, as well as visitors from all over the world, may now view a copy of the document that helped shape one of the largest and most powerful countries on the globe.
Whether you're visiting the city for the history, the scenery, the activities, the shopping, the food or the company, the addition of this document to the already long list of incredible points of interest makes it a no-brainer to add Philadelphia to any good bucket list in the next three years.