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Preserving American History: Valley Forge National Park
In December of 1777, a massive group of rebel soldiers began a grueling affair just 20 miles from Philadelphia. Troops arrived in the thousands to Valley Forge for the 3rd Winter Encampment of the Continental Army and the gathering was tremendous; hundreds of log huts were built, making the location one of the biggest cities in the colonies. Disease, starvation, and exposure left 2,500 dead by February. Despite the conditions, though, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania became the heart of the rebel effort, and George Washington’s temporary stone home acted as the first Pentagon. The group of ragged men was soon transformed into a professional army. Finally, the rebel states had a military strong enough to face the British. It became a symbolic story of American suffering, endurance, and perseverance.
Now, Valley Forge National Park stands as the monumental location of this famous gathering, preserving its history and heritage for the American people. Other than its historical landmarks that boast epic prominence, it also hosts biking and hiking trails, as well as scenic picnic and fishing areas. This summer, Valley Forge celebrates the National Park Service’s 100th Anniversary by hosting the Centennial Celebration Day. It’s held on August 27th from 9AM-4:30PM and includes many activities such as artillery demonstrations, a screening of the park’s official film, and trolley tours. The celebration takes place at the Visitor Center, and a full list of activities can be found on the website. The extra fee for a trolley tour is well worth it to enjoy a relaxing sightseeing ride around the location.