September 14, 2016
By Edward G. Rendell, Thomas J. Ridge, and Rebecca W. Rimel What do Pope Francis, singer and human-rights advocate Bono, and both the Republican and Democratic national committees have in common? In the last two decades, they chose Philadelphia as the best place to advance their values and mission. And the audience was worldwide. Twenty years ago, Google was still a research project at Stanford. The iPhone was more than a decade away. And Netflix hadn't started mailing DVDs.
September 10, 2016 |
Richard R. Beeman, 74, a University of Pennsylvania historian and a trustee of the National Constitution Center, who revered America's founding document and spent decades teaching its creation and complexities, died Monday, Sept. 5, of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Dr. Beeman, of Moylan, was the John Welsh Centennial Professor of History at Penn, where he was a faculty member for 43 years. "It has been my great privilege during those years to teach thousands of bright Penn undergraduates and graduate students the subject I love - the history of the American Revolution and Constitution," Dr. Beeman wrote on his website.
August 22, 2016 |
Over eight weeks this summer, 17 students from Camden have worked a criminal case as though they were detectives, peered through microscopes to see the markings on shell casings, learned about crime-scene investigation techniques, and visited the FBI's Philadelphia offices. Before joining the Camden County Police Department's Blue Knights program for students, 16-year-old Nyiasha Torres wanted to be a police officer. "After going to the FBI, now I want to be a bomb technician," she said.
July 29, 2016 |
Toby Ziegler, White House communications director on The West Wing , was one of the most earnest characters in television (especially for a political animal). With a solemn and subtle severity, Toby fought for decency in democracy. If Sam Seaborn was the looker, and Josh Lyman the charisma of the operation, Toby was the Bartlet administration's moral compass. "He was much smarter than I am, although I am much better looking," joked actor Richard Schiff, who brought Toby to life on screen.
July 14, 2016 |
Just grow up. Those are three words you will never hear at Christopher Phillips' dinner table, not even if everyone is grumpy or the girls are squabbling or someone topples her juice. That's because Phillips - longtime Philadelphia resident, author, and creator of the Socrates Café - believes we'd all be better off if adults worked harder to retain the best qualities of children: curiosity, forgiveness, empathy, flexibility, and hope. He details that conviction in his new book, The Philosophy of Childing: Unlocking Curiosity, Creativity, and Reason through the Wisdom of Our Youngest . It's dense with philosophers', psychologists', and artists' takes on childhood - from Aristotle's belief that children are small brutes incapable of reasoning to Picasso's oft-quoted declaration that "every child is an artist.
June 22, 2016 |
The flags along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway have started to fray. The sidewalks around the Convention Center are showing cracks. And Center City construction sites block sidewalks along main pedestrian routes. A little more than a month out from the July 25-28 Democratic National Convention, it's time to tidy up. With that in mind, the convention's host committee over the last few months has deployed a crew of volunteers to canvass the areas around the Convention Center and the Wells Fargo Center.
June 17, 2016 |
The Museum of the American Revolution, whose building at Third and Chestnut Streets has been under construction for two years, plans to announce Thursday that it will open its doors to the public April 19, 2017 - the 242nd anniversary of the battles of Lexington and Concord, considered the opening of hostilities between Britain and its North American colonies. When the smoke cleared following those nasty Massachusetts skirmishes so long ago, 122 fighters on both sides had lost their lives, and the colonies were launched on a revolutionary road that would not reach the goal of independence for eight arduous years.
June 4, 2016 |
U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a sharecropper's son who helped lead the 1965 "Bloody Sunday" march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., will receive this year's Liberty Medal, the National Constitution Center announced Thursday. Lewis, a Democrat who represents Georgia's Fifth District, is the last surviving "Big Six" leader of the civil rights movement. Others in the group were the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., James Farmer, A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins, and Whitney Young. "It is an honor for me to receive the Liberty Medal, especially as the U.S. Constitution Center celebrates the 150th anniversary of the 14th Amendment," Lewis, who was out of the country, said in a statement.
May 30, 2016
Jeffrey Rosen is president and CEO of the National Constitution Center A hundred years ago, on June 1, 1916, Louis Brandeis was confirmed as an associate justice of the Supreme Court. One hundred and twenty-five days elapsed between his nomination and confirmation - the longest period any nominee has waited in American history. (Merrick Garland will surpass this record in July.) The long delay in Brandeis' confirmation reflected the controversy he had inspired as the crusading "People's Attorney," who made his name by attacking financiers such as J.P. Morgan, who took reckless risks with what Brandeis called "other people's money.
May 25, 2016 |
The Independence Visitor Center plans a $15 million overhaul that will extend the outdoor terrace and enlarge the gift shop as it aims to generate more cash for operations from the city's growing tourist throng. The renovation will be the biggest investment at Independence Mall since the early 2000's, when the center and other buildings were constructed as part of a then-new master plan for the National Park Service site. It comes as the building's operator, the nonprofit Independence Visitor Center Corp., strives to reduce its dependence on the Park Service in an age of recurring federal budget tiffs.