PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — This weekend, Occupied Philadelphia brought history to life with the sights and sounds of 1777. Held annually in the fall, it is the Museum of the American Revolution’s largest living history event.
“This is an opportunity to teach people in much more detail what the past was like,” said Adrienne Whaley. “And to tell stories of people who may have been my own ancestors and the ancestors of people in my community.”
Whaley, the museum’s director of education and community outreach, was dressed as the Pepper Pot Soup Lady. This was an example of an entrepreneurial venture that a free black woman would have explored at the time.
She sees her role as an opportunity to paint a clearer picture of the diversity that exists throughout the nation’s history.
“There aren’t that many people of African descent doing this work,” she said. “So most people don’t have the opportunity to see the great diversity of this time.”
Guests at the weekend-long event were also able to witness a typical market square, British card games and the arrest and arrest of soldiers in real time.
“A year and a few months after the Declaration of Independence, the British Army arrived and held the city for over nine months,” said Tyler Putman, the museum’s senior manager of gallery interpretation. “So you can walk around and imagine what that looks like at the citywide level.”
Walking tours and drumming demonstrations helped set the stage for Revolutionary-era Philadelphia.
“We didn’t know anything about it. We walked by, we were really excited,” said Jason Boyd, who was visiting with his family from Washington DC. “We’re here about 10 minutes. I’ve learned things I’ve never learned about American history before.”
Although this year’s Occupied Philadelphia has ended, the Museum of the American Revolution is offering tours and programs throughout the year. To learn more, visit their website.
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https://6abc.com/living-history-museum-of-the-american-revolution-british-occupation-1777/12424420/ ‘Occupied Philadelphia’: History comes to life at Revolutionary-era reenactment