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Independence Seaport Museum is a non-profit educational institution dedicated to collecting, exhibiting and making available art, artifacts, and archival materials pertaining to the rich maritime history and traditions of the Delaware River, Bay and tributaries, and to interpreting general themes relating to civilization and the sea. Both international and national in scope, but regional in emphasis, the Museum is committed to enhancing an appreciation of our maritime heritage, to exploring the impact of this history on the forces of commerce and culture which shaped this region, and to fostering an awareness of the continuing role of our waterways in contemporary life.
The Museum strives to execute this mission through its exhibitions, research library, publications and educational and public programs for diverse audiences. Through these means, the Museum documents and portrays the maritime influence on the social, cultural, political and economic life of the Mid-Atlantic region, from the arrival of the earliest European settlers to the present day. Maintaining contemporary relevance in the execution of its mission, the Museum increasingly stresses marine ecology and the impact of environmental issues on the vitality of the region.
Founded in 1960, Independence Seaport Museum today anchors the growing revitalization along Philadelphia's historic Penn's Landing. The Museum's numerous exhibits, special events and programs, and its industrious small boat workshop attracted over 140,000 visitors in 1998. The Museum also maintains two historic vessels for its visitors, the Cruiser OLYMPIA, last suviving combatant of the 1898 Spanish-American War, and the Submarine BECUNA, a veteran of World War II.
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