Founding Mothers and The Election of 1796

I found out about some two new walking tours being offered this week only in Philadelphia; one by the National Park Service, and one by Christ Church in Old City.

founding mother tour

The grave of Benjamin Franklin, in the Christ Church Burial Ground on the corner of 5th and Arch, is one of the most visited sites in Philadelphia. But the thousands of tourists who wander through that two-acre green space in Old City often don’t realize that, in addition to holding the stories of five signers of the Declaration of Independence and 10 mayors of Philadelphia, it also holds the stories of many women whose lives were just as real — and consequential… This month, in honor of the Democratic National Convention and a new historic Philadelphia first — the first female major party presidential nominee — the Christ Church Burial Ground is presenting the Founding Mothers tour.

The Founding Mothers tour runs about forty minutes, and will be given at 5:30 on Friday, July 22 and Friday, July 29. Admission is $10. (Additional dates may be added by special arrangement.) An abbreviated form given by regular burial ground guides is available on the half hour from 11:00 to 3:30 daily through the end of July. The abbreviated tour costs $7.

above taken from NewsWorks article, During the DNC, remembering America’s Founding Mothers’ by John Bright, July 22, 2016

Independence National Historical P1796 walking tourark is offering a new walking tour for this week; The Election of 1796. This one hour walking tour is free and offered every day this week through July 30, 2016, at 2:30 p.m. Join the tour at Signers Garden, corner of 5th and Chestnut Streets, Philadelphia and “Learn about the first contested American presidential election and the only one in which a president and vice president were elected from opposing tickets/parties.”

While walking down Arch Street in the historic district of Philadelphia (Old City) yesterday, I saw these giant chalkboards where folks were invited to write down their answer to the question, “How will you change the world?”


Arch Street Meeting House as been a gathering place for Quakers for over 200 years,. Quakers have been changing the world for even longer. Quaker ‪#‎WorldChangers‬ have been and continue to be leaders in making positive change, at the forefront of prison reform, woman suffrage, abolition, civil rights, eco justice movements, and more.

This summer through fall 2016 we are asking YOU, the public, our visitors, our neighbors, the passerbys of our great 9 foot wall, “How WILL YOU Change the World?” with the installation of a Candy Chang inspired piece. Tell us how YOU will be the next in a long line of #WorldChangers who have passed by our HistoricASMH space.

Check it out for yourself, and add your answer, at 320 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA.




More Free and Fun Ways to Celebrate DNC in Philadelphia!

Yesterday morning I  posted about PoliticalFest, 7 special exhibits  celebrating  U.S. Political History. And then I went into Philadelphia and volunteered at 2 of the sites (and visited 4 of them). I want to report that not only are the displays fascinating and worth the trip, for at least 3 of those sites (and possibly 4), one does not need a ticket to go in and see the exhibit. You can visit the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (right next store), and The Heritage Center of the Union League of Philadelphia (around the corner, about two blocks from the previous listed locations). The exhibit at the PA Convention Center (11th and Arch, across the street from the Reading Market, in center city) may also be free; this is the place where you can see a partial mock up of the Oval Office, Air Force One, a life size replica of the Liberty Bell made out of K’nex, and assorted activities for kids. PoliticalFest runs through Wednesday, July 27, 2016.

Liberty Bell at PA Convention Center
original documents – part of Suffragette Women’s History exhibit at Library Company of Philadelphia
some items from previous political conventions, on display at the Union League

Monday, July 25th will also see Philly Feast, United We Eat in Old City at 3rd and Arch, from 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. This free event features musicians and performers, food trucks considered to be some of the best in Philly selling their yummiest treats, and Philadelphia area based artisans and others selling crafts, jewelry, clothing, and more.

The main stage will feature performances from Julian King, Chill Moody, Philbilly and the B Street Band. Throughout the festival, attendees will also find roving musician dancers and oter entertainers, creating a multifaceted arts and culture experience.

C-SPAN’s Educational Bus is parked outside the National Constitution Center, now through Thursday; this interactive learning center is open to the public at no cost.

POLITICO is setting up near Rittenhouse Square and is hosting multiple events and watch parties, all free and open to the public;

The POLITICO Hub will provide a top-notch destination experience for convention attendees in Philadelphia. Led by POLITICO’s award-winning team of reporters and editors, programming will include daily Playbook newsmaker interviews, a live convening of the POLITICO Caucus, policy luncheons on the economy, energy and technology and Nightly Lounges to take in the news of the day and watch streaming speeches from the convention floor.

Located just steps away from historic Rittenhouse Square at 2001 Market Street, 2 Commerce Square, the POLITICO Hub will open the evening of Monday, July 25 and continue with programming through Thursday July, 28.

Read more:
Follow us: @politico on Twitter | Politico on Facebook

You can register online to be part of the audience for The Atlantic’s events this week;

Begin each morning during the presidential conventions with The Atlantic to explore key issues in this pivotal election year.  From a deep dive on polling and demographics, to an up-close look at the candidates and their policies, these briefings will combine political insights with sharp analysis.

8:30 a.m. ET — 10:00 a.m. ET

Field House
1150 Filbert Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

It appears that MSNBC has set up shop in front of Independence Hall, so if you are in the neighborhood, you can stop by and watch them live (as Bernie supporters/protesters appear to be doing tonight).

And on Friday, July 29, 2016, Hillary Clinton will be holding a rally in front of Independence Hall before leaving Philadelphia for a PA tour.- no word yet on time and tickets – so stay tuned (and sign up to receive email alerts when new posts appear on the blog).

Celebrate Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is an amazing city, no matter what is happening, filled with historical buildings, amazing art, great theater, delicious food, and exciting events. This week the main event is the Democratic National Convention. And while most of us aren’t delegates and won’t get into the Wells Fargo Center, by the sports arenas, where the Convention is being held (amidst massive security), there are more than a few public events and activities happening in Center City.

There are 57 painted Donkeys Around Town, one fiberglass donkey for each of the 50 states, 5 territories, Washington, D.C.  and Democrats Abroad. Each one is unique, painted by an artist connected with the Mural Arts Project and Art Jawn.There are maps to track them down, if you prefer to be methodical in your search rather than allow serendipity to guide you. And if you need more motivation, you can also  download Scavify and earn prizes while hunting  for #DonkeysAroundTown. The donkeys will remain on display through September 9, 2016.

PoliticalFest, “a celebration of U.S. Political History,” opens this weekend; one ticket grants you entrance to special exhibits containing interactive activities, displays, historical documents and memorabilia (George Washington’s life mask, and Abraham Lincoln’s death mask, handwritten letters, and a replica of Air Force One, for example). If the heat gets too much for walking around, you can use that ticket to  ride a special Phlash bus going between the seven museums.


On the other hand, if you’d like to do more walking, in addition to the usual historical walking tours offered in the city (some free courtesy of the National Park Service, some not), two new tours are being offered for political junkies this week;

Feel the Bern:

Walk with the people and discover the early populist moments that continue to define our city. Your guide will take you to a church where the 1% prayed with the other 99%, inside an 18th-century house on a typical working-class block, and into the heart of the big bank era in Philadelphia. Grab your sunscreen and feel the Bern on your summer walk through this great neighborhood.

and I’m With Her:

This Hillary-inspired stroll in the 18th-century capital city reveals the prominent women of Philadelphia and their role in the founding of our nation. Discover how smart, ambitious women who couldn’t vote for anyone or be elected to anything wielded great influence. From the impact of our first First Ladies, to the evolution of healthcare in early America, to the impact of women’s suffrage, we explore Philly’s role in this historic moment at the 2016 DNC.

There is much more going on later this week – check back tomorrow to learn more!

As for me, I’m heading into Philadelphia this morning for my first shift volunteering at PoliticalFest – I’ll be at the Library Company of Philadelphia today, founded by Ben Franklin in 1731. The Library Company served as the Library of Congress from the time of the Revolutionary War until 1800.

During the Democratic National Convention (July 22-28), the Library Company will be one of seven Philadelphia sites to host special events and exhibitions for delegates and visitors.

Special exhibitions will showcase a life mask of George Washington, death mask of Abraham Lincoln, various presidential locks of hair, and rare books, graphics, and manuscripts about our nation’s founding, women in American politics, and 19th-century African-American political conventions.



Ted Cruz is right!

Last night, Ted Cruz spoke at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, and said,

That’s really what elections should be about. That’s why you and millions like you devoted so much time and sacrifice to this campaign. We’re fighting not for one particular candidate, or one campaign, but because each of wants to be able to tell our kids and grandkids, our own Caroline’s, that we did our best for their future and our country….

We deserve leaders who stand for principle, who unite us all behind shared values, who cast aside anger for love. That is the standard we should expect from everybody. And, to those listening, please don’t stay home in November.

If you love our country, and love our children as much as you do, stand, and speak, and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom, and to be faithful to the constitution.

– See more at:

I don’t know who Ted Cruz will choose to vote for in November, but I think our choice is clear, especially after this week’s Republican National Convention – we must vote up and down the ticket for the Democratic candidates. We must turn the Senate blue, and change the PA state government before the Congressional lines are once more redrawn, in order to give the Democrats a chance at taking back the House of Representatives and more accurately reflect the voters in this state and this country. And, of course, we must elect Hillary Clinton and defeat Donald J. Trump.

Remember, every political race matters, from local government to county to state to national. You can make a difference, with your time (volunteering to make phone calls, register voters, deliver yard signs, etc), with your money (to candidates directly, or to groups like UPDC who are working on voter registration, voter information efforts, Get Out The Vote activities, and supporting local candidates), and most important of all, your vote in November.

If you’d like to donate to the Upper Perkiomen Democratic Club, or become a member for the low donation of $10, just send your check, made out to UPDC, to:
Box 283
Red Hill, PA 18076

Watch Parties for the Conventions, and other ways you can keep up with the RNC and DNC this month.

The Republican National Convention starts tonight, Monday, July 18th and ends with Donald J. Trump’s Acceptance Speech on Thursday night, July 21, 2016. The Democratic National Convention starts in Philadelphia next Monday, July 25th and ends with Hillary R. Clinton’s Acceptance Speech on Thursday night, July 28, 2016. The Upper Perkiomen Democratic Club will be hosting local Watch Parties each night of the acceptance speeches (more info further down).

If you don’t want to miss a minute of the Conventions, turn on C-SPAN which is broadcasting from 1 p.m. – midnight (unless it runs longer, in which case they will keep the cameras rolling); C-SPAN turns on the cameras and the microphones and skips the commentary, so this is the place to watch it all, unfiltered. If you don’t have the time, or interest, to sit in front of the TV or computer screen all day and night for eight days, all speeches will be archived at

PBS and NPR will be devotion three hours of prime-time coverage each night (more than the networks, and without commercial interruption), from 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.

MSNBC and CNN will also have extensive coverage, of course.

If it all gets too intense, Jon Stewart will be back with Stephen Colbert, live Monday through Thursday, this week (and next?), on Late Night with Stephen Colbert, 11:30 p.m. on CBS, to help with Colbert’s “2016 Trumpublican Donational Conventrump Starring Donald Trump as the Republican Party* (*May Contain Traces of Republican).”  The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, 11 p.m. on Comedy Central, originates from Cleveland Tuesday through Friday this week, and Philadelphia Tuesday through Friday next week. And non-subscribers of HBO can still catch the two live half-hours ( 11 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays) this week and next of Real Time with Bill Maher at YouTube or on Maher’s Facebook page.

And Stephen Colbert is once more keeping things interesting with GOP Convention Bingo Cards – multiple cards are available, here is one to get you started.


Wondering about those Watch Parties I mentioned earlier? This Thursday’s Trump Acceptance Speech Watch Party, on July 21, 2016, begins at 8:30 p.m. in East Greenville – when the speech actually begins is anyone’s guess (we suspect 9 p.m. at the earliest). There will be refreshments and beverages of all types on hand. All partisan types; Democrats and non-Trump supporters, are welcome.

Next Thursday’s Hillary Clinton Acceptance Speech Watch Party also begins at 8:30 p.m., on July 28, 2o16, in Marlborough Township (just outside of Red Hill). Once again, this is a partisan event sponsored by the Upper Perkiomen Democratic Club, with refreshments and beverages to celebrate through the night.

If you aren’t on the UPDC email list and would like to attend one, or both, of the two Watch Parties, email us and we’ll be happy to let you know the address of the events.


Volunteer Locally This Weekend!

Recent tragedies and events, along with Trump tweets and talks, have driven even the Notorious RBG – Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg – to speak out about the drastic and dangerous changes the U.S. would see under a President Trump. She reminded people that the next president may well have the opportunity to name three Supreme Court Justices over the next four years (not counting the current vacancy on the Court);

Acknowledging her own age and that Justices Anthony Kennedy and Stephen Breyer will turn 80 and 78, respectively, Ginsburg said of the possible next president: “She is bound to have a few appointments (to the Supreme Court) in her term.”

Raging at the news or turning it off in despair is not the answer. Working to elect Hillary Clinton as our next president, and turning the Senate Democratic, is.

There are multiple opportunities to volunteer in our general area this weekend;

Friday, 7/15– Voter Registration Table at the Indian Valley YMCA ( 890 Maple Ave, Harleysville, PA) from 9-5

Saturday, 7/16 – Voter Registration Table at the Indian Valley Public Library 100 E Church Rd, Telford, PA) from 10-5

Saturday, 7/16 – Phone bank at Henning’s Market  (290 Main Street, Harleysville, PA) (upstairs above the deli) from 6-8

Sunday, 7/17 – Voter Registration Table at the Indian Valley Public Library ( 100 E Church Rd, Telford, PA)  from 1-4:30

Sunday, 7/17 – Phone bank at Henning’s Market (290 Main Street, Harleysville, PA) (upstairs above the deli) from 5-8

These events are being run by the Pennsylvania Democratic Party as part of their Weekend of Action.  Please let PA Victory organizer Carolyn Lee know if you can make one (or several) of these events –