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					                                                                                                  National Park Service
    Park News                                                                                     U.S. Department of the Interior

Independence: The Best Park in History

       President-Elect Obama Visits Independence
Independence National                                                                             This was Barack Obama’s fourth
Historical Park Superintendent                                                                    visit to Independence NHP. Senator
Cynthia MacLeod and Deputy                                                                        Obama delivered his famous speech
Superintendent Darla Sidles were                                                                  on race relations in this country in
honored to join Pennsylvania                                                                      Independence National Historical
Governor Edward G. Rendell in                                                                     Park, at the National Constitution
welcoming President-Elect Obama,                                                                  Center, on March 18, 2008. That
Vice-President Elect Biden, and the                                                               speech is now available for public
National Governor’s Association to                                                                viewing as part of the National
Independence National Historical                      The nation’s governors gather in Congress
                                                                                                  Constitution Center’s special
Park on December 2, 2008.                                               Hall                      exhibit, Headed to the White House.
                                                                                                  Senator Obama also visited the park
                                                 President-Elect Obama used the                   to participate in a debate with Hillary
                                                 occasion to encourage the gathered               Clinton at the National Constitution
                                                 governors to work together to help               Center and to speak at a rally in his
                                                 spur an economic recovery and                    support during his campaign.
                                                 support the nation during the current
                                                 economic crisis. Following the
                                                 meeting, which was closed to public,
                                                 press, and park officials, Governor
    Superintendent MacLeod with Governor         Rendell hosted a press conference
                                                 with his fellow governors to
                                                 answer questions about the nation’s
                                                 economy and their ability to work
The meeting of the National
                                                 with the new administration.
Governor’s Association was held
in Congress Hall on Independence                                                                         Superintendent MacLeod with Virginia
                                                                                                                  Governor Tim Kaine
Square.        The House of
Representatives and the Senate met
in Congress Hall when Philadelphia                                                                Independence Hall and Congress
served as the capital of the United                                                               Hall are sometimes used as venues
States, from 1790 to 1800. The                                                                    for meetings for traditionally
building was also the place where, in                                                             associated groups such as the
1797, George Washington stepped                                                                   Descendents of the Signers of the
down as our nation’s first President                                                              Declaration or the Daughters of the
and John Adams was inaugurated.                                                                   American Revolution. In January,
That was a historic peaceful transfer                                                             2007, the United Kingdom’s Prince
of power in a time when power                          Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and
                                                                                                  Charles met with Governor Rendell
around the world was transferred                        Congressman Chaka Fattah joined the
                                                                     governors                    and then-Mayor John Street in
only through blood lines or blood                                                                 Independence Hall.

The official newsletter of Independence National Historical Park • Winter 2009
President’s         House       Update
                                              Celebrating the Life and Works
The City of Philadelphia, the
Friends of Independence, and
Independence National Historical
                                                   of Edgar Allan Poe
Park are working together to make             Considered to be the creator of the modern detective story as well as the master
the proposed commemoration at the             of the horror story genre, Edgar Allan Poe spent some of his most creative
site of the President’s House a reality.      and prolific years in Philadelphia. The Edgar Allan Poe National Historical
The story of the President’s House,           Site (EDAL) at 7th and Spring Garden Streets tells the story of Poe’s life
at 6th and Market Streets, is a story         and works while in Philadelphia.
of many themes: the house and the                                                   Events will be scheduled throughout
people who lived and worked there;                                                  2009 to celebrate Poe’s life and
the Executive Branch of the United
                                                                                    accomplishments, including:
States Government; the system and
methods of enslavement; African-                                                            January 10, the Free Library
American Philadelphia; the move to                                                  of Philadelphia Central Branch, will
freedom; and, history lost and found.                                               feature internationally renowned Poe
                                                                                    actor David Keltz. Also appearing
The commemoration, designed by the
                                                                                    at the library that day will be Park
Kelly/Maeillo design team, will address
each of these themes in creative,                                                   Ranger Helen McKenna-Uff as Poe’s
educational ways. A major revision                                                  fiancée Helen Whitman.
in the earlier proposal for the site will                                                   Friday, January 16, 6:00
be to include a vitrine through which                                               to 8:00 PM -- The Official Friends
visitors will be able to view the original    Where better to celebrate Halloween of Poe bicentennial birthday party!
archeological remains of the house,           than at the home of the master of the Festivities will take place at the
including George Washington’s bow             horror tale? Thanks to the Greater German Society, 7th and Spring
window and the underground tunnel
                                              Philadelphia Tourism Marketing
that connected the house to the kitchen.                                            Garden Streets, across the street from
                                              Corporation, EDAL was pleased to
                                                                                    Poe. The event will include a wine-
The City of Philadelphia, working             welcome Elvira, “Mistress of the
                                                                                    tasting of vintages mentioned in
with the Friends of Independence, has         Dark” to join Edgar Allan Poe at
launched a major fundraising campaign                                               Poe’s works and a preview of the new
                                              the Poe House on October 31, 2008.
to raise the remaining funds required                                               exhibits. For tickets and reservations,
                                              Together, Elvira and Poe, played by
                                              NPS interpreter Helen McKenna- please contact the Friends of Poe at
to complete the commemoration,
along with an endowment for its
continued operation and maintenance.          Uff, performed a reading of The 215-597-7919 or reservations@
Contributions in support of this fund         Raven to a costumed audience
may be made payable to the Friends            of several hundred Poe fans.                  Saturday, January 17, 9:00 -
of Independence -- the President’s                                                  5:00 -- Official public opening for new
House. Donations can be mailed to             In honor of the 200th anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe National Historic
Mayor Michael Nutter, Attn Grants
and Foundation Office, City Hall              the birth of Edgar Allan Poe, which Site exhibits. Daniel Hoffman, poet
                                                                                    and Poe scholar, will offer a talk at
Room 225, Philadelphia, PA 19107.             will fall on January 19, 2009, the
                                                                                    2:00 pm on Poe’s influence on women
                                              National Park Service is creating
Construction will begin in 2009. The                                                writers like Joyce Carol Oates.
                                              new and exciting exhibits at the
site is slated for completion in Fall 2010.                                                 Saturday, March 28, 2:00
                                              Poe House. In order to install these
                                                                                    PM -- 19th century literature expert,
                                              exhibits, the house will be closed
                                                                                    David Reynolds, author of Beneath the
                                              to the public from December 1, American Renaissance and George
                                              2008 - January 17, 2009. Join us Lippard, Prophet of Protest and
                                              on January 17, 2009, as we re-open professor at the Graduate Center of
                                              the Poe House and unveil the new the City University of New York, will
                                              exhibits celebrating the incredible discuss “Poe in his Times” and sign
                                              life and literary legacy of this copies of his new book Waking Giant:
                                              great American poet and author. America in the Age of Jackson.

2 Independence: The Best Park in History
                    INDE Recognizes Volunteer Bill Ubil
On October 9, 2008, staff at                                                                           and volunteers, Northeast Regional
Independence NHP celebrated                                                                            Office staff, and park partners.
the retirement of longtime
Interpretation and Visitor Services                                                                    INDE relies on its dedicated crew
(I&VS) volunteer Bill Ubill with                                                                       of volunteers, who help the park
a ceremony at the Liberty Bell                                                                         in all divisions. Volunteers in
Center. Superintendent Cynthia                                                                         I&VS greet visitors and offer tours
MacLeod hosted the event, which                                                                        of historic buildings around the
included a congratulatory letter from                                                                  park. Volunteers in the division of
Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter.                                                                    Cultural Resource Management help
                                                                                                       catalogue archeological artifacts in
During his time at Independence                            I&VS Staff and Volunteers with Bill Ubil    the Independence Living History
NHP, Bill greeted thousands of                                                                         Center, research the history of the
visitors and donated over 5000 hours                                                                   park and its buildings, and work
of his time. Bill had already been                                                                     with museum artifacts. Volunteers
awarded the Secretarial Volunteer                                                                      in the Maintenance Division help
Service Award (for 3,000 volunteer                                                                     maintain and improve gardens
hours) and Presidential Volunteer                                                                      throughout the park, including
Service Awards (for 4,000 volunteer                                                                    Washington Square, the Edgar Allan
hours), and with his 5,000 hours                                                                       Poe House, and the Rose Garden.
of volunteer service surpassed all                        Bill with I&VS Volunteer Coordinators Jay
Departmental volunteer award                               Hinesly, Palmer Forbes and Bill Caughlin    Anyone interested in volunteering
levels! Bill and his wife were joined at                                                               with the park can contact VIP
the ceremony by current and former                                                                     Coordinator Beverly Morris at 215-
members of the Independence staff                                                                      597-1293 for more information.
                 National Park Service
                 U.S. Department of the Interior
                                                                         Staffing Changes at INDE
                                                        INDE offers best wishes to staff moving on and wel-
Independence National Historical Park                          comes some new faces to the park!
143 South Third Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
                                                                                              James W. Mueller, Chief Historian at Indepen-
                                                                                              dence National Historical Park, will retire on
The National Park Service cares for the                                                       January 4, 2009 after 30 years of federal ser-
special places saved by the American people so that                                           vice. Since joining the NPS in 1980, Jim has
all may experience our heritage.                                                              worked for the Midwest Archeology Center in
                                                                                              the Rocky Mountain Region and for the Den-
National Park Service                                                                         ver Service Center’s Applied Archeology Cen-
U.S. Department of the Interior                                                               ter in Silver Spring, MD .
NPS Photographers:
    Carol H. Feeley Photography                       INDE’s Division of Resource and Visitor Protec- 	
    Park Staff                                        tion has a new Chief of Operations. Paula Risell
Comments? Write to:
                                                      joined the INDE team on November 9, after hav-
   Jane Cowley, INHP                                  ing worked for the past four years at Valley Forge
   143 S. Third Street
                                                      as its Chief of Operations within the law enforce-
   Philadelphia, PA 19106
   Phone: (215) 597-0060                              ment division. Paula has been with the National
   Fax: (215) 597-0042                                Park Service since 1992, and brings with her a
                                                      wealth of experience from the fields of not only
                                                      law enforcement but also interpretation and tele-
      National Park Service
      U.S. Department of the Interior

      Independence National Historical Park
      143 S. Third Street
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106

      E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A™

                                               Upcoming Events
On January 20, 2009, experi-              place where Adams was inaugurated          This December, INDE will implement
ence the inauguration of President        on March 4, 1797. This free event will     the final stages of the new security
Barack Obama on the nation’s best         be held at 10 am and 3 pm. Visitors        process. Visitors to INDE this winter
Mall -- Independence Mall! From           may choose to contribute to the dona-      will see new bollards and chains in
noon - 2 pm, the Presidential In-         tion box at the entrance.                  place of the old bicycle barricades.
auguration will be broadcast live
from a large screen on Indepen-                                                                         Celebrate the Bi-
dence Mall, outside the Indepen-                                                                        centennial of Ed-
dence Visitor Center. The Visitor                                                                       gar Allan Poe. The
Center and the National Constitu-                                                                       Official Friends of
tion Center will have food and in-                                                                      Poe birthday party
door activities to keep you warm!                                                                       will be held on
                                              On Saturday, February 7, 2009, at
                                              noon, the Thaddeus Kosciuszko                             Friday, January
For this very special occasion,               National Memorial will re-open                            16, from 6 - 8 pm.
INDE invites you to join actors               with new exhibits featuring original                      There will be a
of the American Historical The-               Kosciuszko artifacts on temporary      wine tasting and previews of the new
ater for a re-enactment of the                loan from six major museums in         exhibits. Tickets are $10 for Friends’
first peaceful transfer of power be-          Poland, being coordinated through      members, $15 for non-members. Call
tween Presidents Washington and               the Polish government and US State     215-597-7919 for reservations and
Adams in Congress Hall, the very              Department.                            more information.
4 Independence: The Best Park in History

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