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Storytellers to Drop Familiar Tales for Untold Philly History (Philadelphia, PA) , May 14, 2005


As Philadelphia gears up for the summer tourist season, however, training is under way for a new kind of living history tourism around the city's oldest streets and landmarks that doesn't include ruffled sleeves and tricorn hats.

Wearing everyday clothing, 25 storytellers will be posted in key downtown tourist spots and share accounts of little-known people and events in the city's formative years.

"We're trying to paint a more complete picture of what Philadelphia was like," said Amy Needle, executive director of the Once Upon a Nation program. That means placing the age's more unconventional movers and shakers alongside its military heroes and political stars.

These Philadelphians include a Quaker midwife who spied on British forces who commandeered her home, a blacksmith falsely convicted of America's first bank robbery and a British soldier who dressed up like a ghost to frighten Continental lookouts.

The roughly four-minute stories focus on the unsung women, minorities and others who shaped the nation but didn't made history's A-list. The storytellers will be posted at large benches from Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day at 13 old and new tourist stops around the downtown area; longer evening tours will be offered, too, for a fee.

Subjects Covered: education

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