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Thousands Visit as National Constitution Center Marks 10th Anniversary

(Chris, no last name given, wears Colonial garb as he describes early electricity experiments to two young Constitution Center visitors.  Credit: Pat Loeb)

(Chris, no last name given, wears Colonial garb as he describes early electricity experiments to two young Constitution Center visitors. Credit: Pat Loeb)

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The National Constitution Center, on Independence Mall, celebrated its tenth anniversary today with free admissions and dozens of special exhibits about Colonial America.

The Manion family, of Delaware County, Pa., just happened to be spending the day in Philadelphia when they heard that admission to the Constitution Center was free today.  And they found out that was just the beginning of the special attractions.

“This is great,” said one.  “I mean, this is the day to come, right?”

Costumed craftsmen showed Colonial crafts such as candlemaking, hand tailoring, and producing electricity.

“We could turn a crank and actually create static electricity,” explained reënactor Chris (at right in photo), “and then store in a series of Leyden jars called a battery.  It was actually the first battery.”

Constitution Center president Jeffrey Rosen couldn’t have been more pleased with the day’s turnout.

“This is the museum of ‘we the people,’ ” he said, “and we need as many ‘we the people’ here as possible.”