Full DNC PoliticalFest Schedule Announced: What to Do and Where

PoliticalFest 2016 - Philadelphia

Last month we told you about PoliticalFest, the festival celebrating U.S. history, government and politics, which will run July 22nd-27th as part of the Democratic National Convention.

Now we can tell you exactly what will be happening at it. The PoliticalFest schedule features exhibits on display at seven different locations, including the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the National Liberty Museum and the National Constitution Center, which will serve as the festival hub.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children and are available in person at the National Constitution Center and on the Host Committee’s website. The festival will from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Here’s a list of what to do and where: Read more »

Jackie Robinson’s First Contracts Will Be on Display in Philly

Mykalai Kontilai - Jackie Robinson contract

Mykalai Kontilai holds Jackie Robinson’s first contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers. (Photo | Dan McQuade)

“For the performance of the Player’s services and promises hereunder the Club will pay the Player the sum of FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS ($5,000.00) for the season.”

The salary may not sound impressive today, but the year was 1947. And the signature on the next page of the contract is even more impressive: Jack Roosevelt Robinson.

Beginning Thursday, Jackie Robinson’s original professional baseball contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers will be on display at the National Constitution Center for two weeks. The contract is on what its owners call a “Freedom Tour” of the United States, and it will make its longest-scheduled stay in the City of Brotherly Love. Robinson’s first minor league contract with the Montreal Royals, signed in 1946, will also be on display alongside it.

The contracts will be on display as part of the Center’s primary exhibit, “The Story of We the People,” until June 5th. Regular admission is $14.50 for adults; the museum is free on Memorial Day due to a grant from the John Templeton Foundation. Read more »

Six Historical Exhibits to See This Week

Lost Egypt: Ancient Secrets, Modern Science. at The Franklin Institute

Lost Egypt: Ancient Secrets, Modern Science at The Franklin Institute

Alexander Hamilton and the Foundation of America’s Financial System @ The Constitution Center | Through July 10th, 2016
It’s basically the Broadway hit without the singing, dancing, and excessive media coverage. In case the mammoth musical mania of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton wasn’t enough to satisfy your Founding Father fancy, this exhibition commemorates our nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury, whose approach to banking, finance, taxation, coinage, and currency utterly revolutionized the monetary methods of the United States. Read more »

Diana Ross and Jason Alexander Celebrate Einstein Healthcare’s 150th


Last night Einstein Healthcare Network celebrated it’s 150th anniversary with a sold-out gala at the National Constitution Center hosted by Seinfeld star Jason Alexander and featuring a performance by Diana Ross.

Einstein got its start in 1866 as a 22-bed Jewish Hospital. Today the Einstein Healthcare Network has nearly 9,000 employees and operates three acute care hospitals — Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, Einstein Medical Center Elkins Park, Einstein Medical Center Montgomery — along with MossRehab, two physician companies, and a series of outpatient centers throughout Philadelphia and Montgomery County.

Guests enjoyed delicious food by Brulee Catering, and danced to the sounds of Honey & Vinyl, as well as enjoyed performances from the UArts’ Vocal Performance Department including a performance by Rumble, an alternative drum ensemble that marked the beginning of the program where Lawrence S. Reichlin, chair of the board of directors, and Barry R. Freedman, president and CEO of Einstein Healthcare Network, welcomed the guests. Chairpersons for the gala were Alison and Marc Feldman, Susan and Leonard Klehr, Jill and Jon Powell and Nancy and Marc Shrier.

Photos after the jump »

Kathleen Kane Appoints Special Prosecutor to Investigate Porn Emails

Kathleen Kane at Constitution Center press conference

Photo | Dan McQuade

When the National Constitution Center broke ground in 2000, its backers could not have imagined what the building would be used for 15 years later: Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane projecting a slideshow of pornography and racist jokes onto a 25-foot-tall screen in its main auditorium.

Kane had the images — the majority of them photos of African-Americans at a formal dance of some kind, with mocking captions — projected onto the screen before today’s big announcement: Kane has appointed former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler as an independent special deputy attorney general to investigate emails sent from state email addresses in the “Porngate” scandal.

“Today you may not be on the list of those that these men looked down upon,” Kane said at the press conference. “But tomorrow, it may be you. It may be your son, it may be your daughter, it may be your neighbor, it may be your coworker. And, to me, that is intolerable, and I will not allow it on my watch — no matter how long that watch lasts.” Kane said those who sent the emails were “stealing our fundamental civil rights.” Read more »

Tonight: Should The Government Keep Its Hands Off Our Lunch?


This week, the national media reported that presidential candidate Jeb Bush is spitting mad that the National Institutes of Health has awarded $2 million in grants to develop a video game that aims to show parents how to effectively get their kids to eat (and like!) healthy foods. He calls it a waste of scarce resources. The game’s developer has angered political conservatives for years, receiving threats and hate mail and sparking pending federal legislation that would prevent the government from funding games that teach “food parenting practices.”

What does this have to do with Philadelphia? Well, everything, if you consider that the National Constitution Center is coincidentally hosting a panel tonight at 6:30 pm called “Should the Government Regulate What We Eat?” It’s part of the center’s new feature exhibition, “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam? The Government’s Effect on the American Diet.” And while this week’s partisan controversy deals more with funding than regulation, the issue is a) sure to come up tonight; and b) part of a broader conversation that has people like Sarah Palin mocking Michelle Obama for her anti-childhood obesity initiatives and bringing sugar cookies to a Bucks County school fundraiser immediately after calling Pennsylvania a “nanny state run amok” for proposing to limit the sugary treats served at public school holiday parties.

Read more »

Richard Gere to Honor Absent Dalai Lama at Liberty Medal Ceremony

The Dalai Lama was supposed to come to Philadelphia at the end of this month to receive the National Constitution Center‘s 2015 Liberty Medal. A few weeks before his arrival, however, we got the bummer news that the 80-year-old spiritual leader had to cancel to fulfill a doctor’s orders to rest up for a few weeks.

Read more »

Dalai Lama Cancels Trip to Philadelphia

Philadelphia was supposed to play host to another holy leader this fall, when the Dalai Lama came to town to accept the 2015 Liberty Medal at the National Constitution Center (NCC). It was announced over the weekend, however, that the 80-year-old spiritual leader has canceled his trip to the U.S. after he was advised by a doctor to lay low and rest over the next several weeks.

The cancellation was confirmed by a statement on His Holiness’s website:

Read more »

Finally, Hard Facts About the Dalai Lama’s Visit to Philly

Unlike the frenzy surrounding Pope Francis’s appearance this month, the vibe around the Dalai Lama’s visit October 26 and 27 is distinctly chill. So everybody can just stand down and no need for prep-the-bunker Pope-is-coming-to-visit provision shopping. In fact, His Holiness’s visit is so chill that many of the logistical details of his visit — he will receive the National Constitution Center’s 2015 Liberty Medal — are still being worked out. Vince Stango, chief operating officer of the National Constitution Center remarks that even the lawn ceremony, from 5-6 pm on October 26, “will be understated, reverential, but without a lot of splash.”

This seems to fit with the humble manner of His Holiness, who recently celebrated his 80th birthday while attending the Glastonbury Music Festival in England. (Singer Patti Smith led the crowds in the birthday song for him, after which he gave her a big hug).

The Dalai Lama will be traveling to Philadelphia with an entourage of about eight or nine people. The State Department coordinates his security with the Philadelphia Police, but he’s known for traveling about rather discreetly. According to Tony Boris, president of the Chenrezig Tibetan Buddhist Center, “He doesn’t have a Popemobile type of vehicle.” He will be staying at an undisclosed hotel somewhere in Center City.

Read more »

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