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Ready, aim, visit: American Revolution Museum at attention

Associated Press logo Associated Press 4/12/2017 By KRISTEN DE GROOT, Associated Press
This Monday, April 10, 2017, photo shows the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. With muskets polished, flags aloft and one very commanding tent in place, the museum is at the ready. After nearly two decades of planning, the museum that tells the dramatic story of the founding of the United States opens in prime historic Philadelphia on April 19. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) © The Associated Press This Monday, April 10, 2017, photo shows the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. With muskets polished, flags aloft and one very commanding tent in place, the museum is at the ready. After nearly two decades of planning, the museum that tells the dramatic story of the founding of the United States opens in prime historic Philadelphia on April 19. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — With muskets polished, flags aloft and one very commanding tent in place, Philadelphia's Museum of the American Revolution is at the ready.

This Tuesday, April 4, 2017, photo shows George Washington's headquarters tent, which served as his office and sleeping quarters throughout much of the war at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. Sometimes described as "the first Oval Office," it hosted discussions with the likes of Alexander Hamilton and witnessed dramatic moments like the 1781 Siege of Yorktown, the last major battle of the war. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) © The Associated Press This Tuesday, April 4, 2017, photo shows George Washington's headquarters tent, which served as his office and sleeping quarters throughout much of the war at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. Sometimes described as "the first Oval Office," it hosted discussions with the likes of Alexander Hamilton and witnessed dramatic moments like the 1781 Siege of Yorktown, the last major battle of the war. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

After nearly two decades of planning, the museum that tells the dramatic story of the founding of the United States opens in prime historic Philadelphia on April 19. That's the anniversary of the first shots fired at the battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775 that ignited the war.

This Tuesday, April 4, 2017, photo shows a section of the North Bridge, the site of a fateful confrontation between colonists and British regulars, at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. The fragment gives a tangible sense of "the shot heard 'round the world," which opened the Battle of Lexington Green, the first military engagement of the war on April 19, 1775. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) © The Associated Press This Tuesday, April 4, 2017, photo shows a section of the North Bridge, the site of a fateful confrontation between colonists and British regulars, at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. The fragment gives a tangible sense of "the shot heard 'round the world," which opened the Battle of Lexington Green, the first military engagement of the war on April 19, 1775. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The 118,000 square foot museum tells the story using interactive exhibits, theater presentations and large-scale replicas, in addition to original artifacts —and the occasional whiff of gunpowder.

This Tuesday, April 4, 2017, photo shows an actual piece of the Annapolis, Md., Liberty Tree, embedded into an 18-foot-tall tree replica as a touchable element, at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. There were once 13 liberty trees, one in each of the original Colonies, where the Sons of Liberty met and plotted the Revolution. The Annapolis tulip poplar was the nation's last surviving Liberty Tree. It was so damaged by storms and decay it had to be cut down in 1999. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) © The Associated Press This Tuesday, April 4, 2017, photo shows an actual piece of the Annapolis, Md., Liberty Tree, embedded into an 18-foot-tall tree replica as a touchable element, at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. There were once 13 liberty trees, one in each of the original Colonies, where the Sons of Liberty met and plotted the Revolution. The Annapolis tulip poplar was the nation's last surviving Liberty Tree. It was so damaged by storms and decay it had to be cut down in 1999. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

It also reveals how a diverse population — including women, Native Americans and enslaved and free blacks — helped push the revolution and shape the conversation about liberty.

This Tuesday, April 4, 2017, photo shows a display of weapons used during the Revolutionary War, including a fife and drum, at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. With muskets polished, flags aloft and one very commanding tent in place, the museum is at the ready. After nearly two decades of planning, the museum that tells the dramatic story of the founding of the United States opens in prime historic Philadelphia on April 19. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

This Tuesday, April 4, 2017, photo shows a display of weapons used during the Revolutionary War, including a fife and drum, at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. With muskets polished, flags aloft and one very commanding tent in place, the museum is at the ready. After nearly two decades of planning, the museum that tells the dramatic story of the founding of the United States opens in prime historic Philadelphia on April 19. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
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