Independence Seaport Museum

Museum in Old City & Society Hill

This kid-friendly museum honors Philadelphia's history of shipbuilding. In the main building you can sound foghorns and steam whistles, gaze upon nautical artifacts (such as a massive ship-carpenter's screwdriver), and climb aboard a full-sized model of the 1797 schooner Diligence. You can also watch boats being built and restored in their boat shop. Your ticket also gains you entry to an 1892 steel warship and a WWII submarine docked outside. Check online for details of special events.

USS Olympia became one of America's most distinguished warships because of her role as Commodore Dewey's flagship in the 1898 Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War. The result of this decisive battle saw the Spanish fleet – largely considered superior to their American adversaries – crippled for the duration of the war, revealing the US as an emerging world power. During WWI the ship patrolled the waters of the US East Coast and, at the end of that war, carried home the body of the Unknown Solider from France to Arlington National Cemetery. The ship was decommissioned in 1922.

USS Becuna, a 1944 Balao-class submarine, was the flagship sub of General MacArthur's Southwest Pacific Fleet. During WWII it destroyed three Japanese vessels and patrolled the Java and China Seas as well as the coast of the Philippines. The sub also saw service during the Korean and Vietnam Wars before being decommissioned in 1969.


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