PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Independence Visitor Center marked a milestone today when the 20-millionth visitor walked through the doors of the facility at 6th and Market Streets.

There were actually 65 people who were honored today, all from Baltimore and all of whom were babies when the Independence Visitor Center first opened in 2001. They were greeted by a string band and IVC president Jim Cuorato.

“You, the students of Colgate Elementary School, are our 20-millionth visitor here at the Independence Visitors Center!” he said.

Every student was handed a gift bag that included tickets to various historical atrtractions, Phillies rally towels, replicas of the Constitution, and a cheesteak lunch.

Not a bad field trip, said 11-year-old Darien Jones:

“I’m really happy to be here today and learn about history — I’m very surprised.”

That was the plan, according to teacher Dan Landel.

“This was very special and we didn’t tell them about any of this.  They didn’t know that any of this was happenning.  When they walked in, they all were surprised and shocked.  Looking at their faces you can tell, so that’s great,” Landel said.

The center will celebrate another milestone this November when it marks its tenth anniversary.

Reported by Paul Kurtz, KYW Newsradio 1060

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