Highlights from the Museum of the American Revolution’s First Three YearsApril 13, 2020
The Museum Celebrates its Third Birthday on April 19
The Museum of the American Revolution is celebrating its third birthday on April 19! Although the Museum is temporarily closed to the public, we’re looking back on some of our most memorable moments since opening in 2017.
To date, we have welcomed more than 900,000 visitors from across the nation and around the world, including nearly 175,000 schoolchildren, who have experienced what CBS Sunday Morning called the Museum’s “nuanced, warts-and-all version of the American Revolution.” The Museum has made history come alive for visitors through a whirlwind of special exhibits, engaging programming, and new acquisitions and discoveries.
Some of the Museum’s most memorable moments since opening include:
- Developing and displaying three dynamic special exhibitions based on the Museum’s rich scholarship, including Among His Troops: Washington’s War Tent in a Newly Discovered Watercolor, Hamilton Was Here: Rising Up in Revolutionary Philadelphia, and Cost of Revolution: The Life and Death of an Irish Soldier.
- Opening our family-friendly discovery center, Revolution Place, so kids and their adults can explore the Museum’s 18th-century neighborhood.
- Launching a Citizenship Initiative that prepares Philadelphia-area immigrants for the naturalization test and to become engaged U.S. citizens.
- Developing and delivering our unique “Through Their Eyes” program which allows schoolchildren to experience the Revolution through the eyes of real people.
- Occupying the Museum’s Old City neighborhood with dozens of soldiers, civilians, and spies during our flagship living history event, Occupied Philadelphia.
- Acquiring new additions to our rich collection of Revolutionary-era artifacts, including the journal of a Revolutionary prisoner-of-war, the sword of a Revolutionary War colonel, and a diary that revealed new details about Continental soldier Deborah Sampson.
- Hosting an all-star line-up of award-winning authors and historians as part of the Museum’s popular Read the Revolution Speaker Series.
- Operating on-budget and with no debt for three years, thanks to closing our capital campaign with a total of $173 million raised from supporters from every state in the nation.
- Delivering thoughtful scholarship through several new publications including a Cost of Revolution catalog, an Among His Troops catalog, the Museum’s official guidebook, and an exploration of the archaeological excavation of the Museum’s site.
- Celebrating the life of our Founding Chairman and greatest supporter H.F. (Gerry) Lenfest, whose legacy we carry forward in the work we do each day.
- Unveiling our 2019-2026 Strategic Plan that guides us to the 250th anniversary of our nation’s founding and beyond.
- Earning a Certified Autism Center designation as part of our ongoing commitment to accessibility at the Museum.
- Awarding the Lenfest Spirit of the American Revolution Award to author David McCullough and filmmaker Ken Burns.
- Experiencing the Revolution after dark with our monthly History After Hours series, featuring themed events ranging from Black History Untold to A Winter’s Ball.
- Launching a Virtual Museum Tour that allows people from across the globe to visit the Museum’s immersive galleries through 360-degree images.
- Bringing the American Revolution to life through living history interpretation, including first-person theatrical performances that visitors have called “captivating” and “mesmerizing.”
- Recognizing Indigenous Peoples during Columbus Day Weekend with provocative panel discussions, native craftspeople, and Oneida Indian Nation dancers.
- Demonstrating our commitment to sustainability by achieving LEED Gold certification, an incredible feat for a Museum.
- Collecting nearly 10,000 ribbons declaring how visitors will #BeTheRevolution during our July 4th celebrations.
- Hosting our first International Conference on the American Revolution, presented with the Pritzker Military Museum & Library.
- Discovering poll lists featuring the names of women voters in New Jersey following the Revolutionary War, which will be featured as part of the upcoming special exhibition When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story, 1775-1807.
Check out our 2018-19 Annual Report for additional highlights.
We’re looking forward to another revolutionary year. Hope to see you at the Museum, whether onsite or online!
About Museum of the American Revolution
The Museum of the American Revolution uncovers and shares compelling stories about the diverse people and complex events that sparked America’s ongoing experiment in liberty, equality, and self-government. Through the Museum’s unmatched collection, immersive galleries, powerful theater experiences, and interactive elements, visitors gain a deeper appreciation for how this nation came to be and feel inspired to consider their role in ensuring that the promise of the American Revolution endures. Located just steps away from Independence Hall, the Museum serves as a portal to the region’s many Revolutionary sites, sparking interest, providing context, and encouraging exploration. The Museum, which opened on April 19, 2017, is a private, non-profit, and non-partisan organization. For more information, visit www.AmRevMuseum.org or call 877.740.1776.