So what is Once Upon A Nation? Well, once upon a time there was a group of colonies who rejected the dictatorial rule of the British monarchy. The citizens of these colonies, ordinary men and women, demonstrated extraordinary courage that ultimately freed us from the bondage of the king and created our nation. Their heroism laid the groundwork for the generations who followed to do some hard things… the right things… things that had a lasting impact on our country. Several centuries of courageous and heroic things that sometimes made it into the history books, but sometimes did not.
Once Upon A Nation tells those once upon a time stories.
The stories we tell are about real people who did real things.
At our Storytelling Benches, located throughout Philadelphia’s historic district, you’ll hear short stories – each about 3 to 5 minutes – that capture a moment in our nation’s history. Moments from the Colonial era, from the Abolitionist movement, from women’s fight for equal rights and more. Each story has been thoroughly researched by historians and told by our professionally trained Storytellers. Just look for the curved benches and our Storytellers in their bright green polo shirts and settle in for a history snack.
Our History Makers, the costumed reenactors who enliven the city’s historic attractions, undergo countless hours of training and scholarly research into the lives of the very real people they portray. Whether it is a Colonial soldier, an 18th century laundress, a signer of the Declaration of Independence or a free Black baker, each character has a story to tell about their role in shaping America.
You can meet and chat with the History Makers at various locations throughout America’s Most Historic Square Mile. In addition, to make these stories available to everyone, Once Upon A Nation offers curricula-based field trips and tours for school and youth groups and content-rich tours for senior groups, and tour operators.