Independence Hall Lesson for Kids: Facts & History

Instructor: Mark Boster
Most countries have some landmarks they are proud of. It may be the Eiffel Tower in France, the Kremlin in Russia, or the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil. In the United States, one of the landmarks is Independence Hall.

Birthplace of the United States

Did you know that even the United States was born in a certain place at a certain time?

Just like you have a birth certificate, so does the United States! It actually has two - the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. You probably got your birth certificate in the hospital, but the United States got its birth certificates at Independence Hall.

Home to History

Independence Hall today

Independence Hall is in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania was one of the thirteen original colonies.

The building that we call Independence Hall started to be built in 1732 and was completed in 1748. The tower on top was added later, and was completed in 1753. Independence Hall originally housed the government of Pennsylvania, so it had offices for all three branches of government.

The Liberty Bell first hung in the steeple of Independence Hall. However, the steeple was removed in 1781, and the bell was moved down to the tower. In the 1850s, the bell went inside Independence Hall. In 1976, it was moved across the street to where to it is now.

Birthing a Country

In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed at Independence Hall. The Second Continental Congress, made up of representatives from all thirteen colonies, met there. Their job was to help each colony coordinate its plan in the resistance to England. These representatives wrote the Declaration of Independence to let the King of England know what they were displeased with, and that the colonies were going to become their own country.

In 1787, the Constitution was drafted at Independence Hall. That summer, when the Constitution was being written, it was very hot. However, the people inside did not open the windows because they didn't want anyone to hear what they were talking about. They didn't have air conditioning, either, so just imagine how hot it was inside!

George Washington led the discussion to write the Constitution. He didn't say much, though, because he didn't want to influence the meeting too much. And despite the serious discussions, the delegates still had fun - some people believe that Benjamin Franklin occasionally tripped people in the aisles!

19th Century

Independence Hall in 1876

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