Independence Hall, Liberty Bell Now Open

All national parks in Pennsylvania have been reopened following resolution of the budget battle that partially closed the federal government.

Independence National Historical Park was reopened for visitors just before noon on Thursday. The Independence Visitors Center reopened this morning at 8:30.

"Our staff is happy to be back at work serving the American people and welcoming visitors to their national parks," the National Park Service said in a press release.

Officials were forced to wait for word on when they could open Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. The reopening took time because the areas had to be swept and prepared for visitors, according to Deputy Superintendent of the National Park Service in Philadelphia BJ Dunn.

Nicole Fellmeth, who's part of the interpretation and education staff at the park, said staff members had been told to report for duty early this morning and spent their time cleaning and printing out tickets.

Valley Forge National Park in Valley Forge also reopened this morning. 

The Bejamin Franklin Museum will be free all day today.


Copyright AP - Associated Press
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