How about we get caught up on Flat Max! We have a few adventures to share, starting with our friends Benji, Whitney, and Atticus in Philadelphia, PA. Benji is a history wiz, so sit back and enjoy some American History!!!
Oh Max, what an adventure we had with flat max.
Thanks so much for thinking of us when you were choosing who to send him to. We sure wish we could've done more with him, but time is short sometimes, isn't it? Next time maybe we'll have real Max for an even bigger adventure.
"First things first," Flat Max said. So off we went to the start, Independence Hall.
This is where, in 1776, fifty-six delegates from the British-American colonies signed the Declaration of Independence. They were saying to George, (not your George, King George of England) "We don't want you taking our money and not listening to us anymore. We can do this by ourselves." Then, after eight long years of the Revolutionary War, King George said, "Good grief, you guys never stop," and left them alone to create the United States of America. Some of the people who signed the Declaration in this very building were or became very famous men. Ben Franklin, George Washington, and John Hancock (Give me your John Hancock) all signed. Thomas Jefferson (one of my very favorites) not only signed, he wrote the whole thing just two blocks from Independence Hall in a little boarding house.
Eleven years after all the Declaration of Independence excitement, delegates from twelve states (not stubborn Rhode Island) met at Independence Hall to write, rewrite, approve, and sign the Constitution of the United States. Awesome. Then, when Philadelphia was the Capital of America from 1790-1800, Congress met in the building to the right of Independence Hall, the west wing.
The House of Representatives met on the bottom floor and the Senate met in the 'upper chamber.' This is where the first ten amendments to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, was argued over and voted on.
Because of all these things, Independence Hall is known as the birthplace of America. And do you know what used to hang in the tower of the Hall?
Atticus is eating Flat Max's head!
The Liberty Bell, that's what. Now it's in a big building of its own right across the street so people can come learn about it and have their picture taken with it. Did you ever wonder why it's called 'the Liberty Bell?' It's not because it rang on the fourth of July in 1776. It's because some people in the 1800's thought it was strange that the words on the bell that used to hang in Independence Hall say, "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." They thought this was strange because all the people in the land didn't have liberty. Four million people, in fact, were slaves of other people right here in America. So the people who wanted to help thought the Liberty Bell would be a valuable symbol in getting those people their liberty. I think maybe they were right.
Next, we decided to go to Washington Square. It's a big park in the middle of our neighborhood. In the park is a statue of George Washington standing behind the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the Revolutionary War. I think it's there to help us remember to be grateful for the people who helped us get where we are today.
After that, we went to Love Park in the very center of Philadelphia. Can you guess why we call it Love Park? Its real name is John F. Kennedy Plaza.
After a long day of exploring, we decided to head home. Bus we stopped on the way to see Delancey Street, which is one of the oldest streets in America. The houses on it are called row homes and most of them were built in the 1700's. Now that's old! The street is made of Belgian blocks. These are blocks of granite that were used on cargo ships. They would put them in the bottom part of the ship to keep it nice and even in the water. After they got to Philadelphia they would dump them on the docks and fill their ships with stuff they bought to take to some other port. So all these rocks were just sitting around the docks of the Philadelphia seaport when someone thought, "Hey, we could use these for roads." If you could peel up all the asphalt in Philadelphia, you'd find these all over the city. Pretty cool.
So that's what Flat Max has been up to in Philadelphia. Well, we can't wait to see you again. Thanks again for the fun times with Flat Max.
Love, atticus, whitney and benji
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