Set within Independence Mall, this enormous, state-of-the-art museum is dedicated to the history, significance and spirit of the United States Constitution. Visitors are introduced to the Center via a 17-minute multimedia stage show called Freedom Rising, and permanent exhibits include the black robe of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman on the Supreme Court, and a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation.
The most unusual attraction here is the Signer’s Hall, a room full of 42 life-size bronze statues of the Founding Fathers, the men who signed the Constitution into law. Visitors are allowed to take photos with these statues, so be sure to seek out your favorite father and plan that Fourth of July card you’ve always imagined.
The big-ticket draw, though, is the original copy of the first public printing of the Constitution, published in a local Philadelphia newspaper in 1787. There are 24 other copies of this printing around the world, though only a few are on public display; the Center’s copy is occasionally stored to give it a rest from light exposure, and is briefly replaced with a high-resolution reproduction. The original copy of the Constitution itself is on display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.