Welcome to the "Beyond the Bell" calendar page! It's time to tear the last page off of 2016 and to welcome in 2017. As usual, there's always something special going on ...
Saturday, December 31st
New Year's Eve Fireworks
The Independence Seaport Museum stays open late for a family-friendly celebration, allowing visitors to ring in the New Year early with noise makers, party hats and a sparkling cider toast before the waterfront lights up with a 6 o'clock fireworks show.
Wednesday, January 11th
A President's Wife
Historian Louisa Thomas presents an intimate portrait of another Louisa, Louisa Catherine Adams. Unlike her husband, the all-American John Quincy Adams, Louisa was half English/half American at a time when most people were choosing one side or the other. Despite their differences in upbringing, John Quincy fell in love with her, and their often tempestuous but deeply close marriage lasted half a century. They lived in Massachusetts, in Prussia, Russia, and England, at royal courts, on farms, in cities, and in the White House, while J. Q. served his country. But wherever they lived, Louisa was always the divided one. The other members of the Adams family could take their identity for granted—they were Adamses; they were Americans—but she had to invent her own. Louisa Thomas tells us all how she did it.
Saturday and Sunday, January 13th and 14th
Franklin Family Fun Zone
Celebrate Benjamin Franklin's birthday and enjoy a variety of activities inspired by Franklin's interest in science, music, art, and more. Try your hand at playing the glass armonica, take a selfie in colonial clothing, and participate in a scavenger hunt.
Friday and Saturday, January 13th and 14th,
Friday and Saturday, January 20th and 21st
Tippler's Tour: Ben Franklin's Birthday
The always festive Tippler's Tours focus on celebrating Ben Franklin's 311th birthday. With luck, he might even join in for a drink or two!
Monday, January 16th
Martin Luther King Day
The National Constitution Center commemorates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with a day of activities, including a reading of the "I Have a Dream" speech. Admission to the museum is only $5 all day long, courtesy of Macy's.
Thursday, February 16th
Politics of War in Early Pennsylvania
The Quaker colony of Pennsylvania was not always the peaceful place it was intended to be, as Patrick Spero reminds us. Its history was dotted with a series of formative but until now largely-overlooked confrontations. There was an eight-year-long border war with Maryland in the 1730s, the Seven Years’ War and conflicts with Native Americans in the 1750s, a series of frontier rebellions in the 1760s, and wars with Virginia and Connecticut in the 1770s over western and northern boundaries. These episodes created a distinctively combative “frontier society” well before the Revolutionary War that most of us are already familiar with.
Now thru December 2017
Opening on Bill of Rights Day (December 15th), 2014 and continuing through almost to the end of 2017, the National Constitution Center will be featuring the founding documents of our great republic. Starting with a first edition stone engraving of the Declaration of Independence, the exhibit includes a rare copy of the first public printing of the U.S. Constitution, and rounds it out with a special display of one of the 12 surviving copies of the Bill of Rights.