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Philadelphia History

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Philadelphia History

  • 1682
    William Penn arrives and names the area Philadelphia.
  • 1752
    Benjamin Franklin proves that lightning is a form of electricity with his kite experiment.
  • 1765
    Growing unrest over the Stamp Act passed by the English Parliament.
  • 1774
    The first Continental Congress is held at the State House in Philadelphia.
  • 1776
    Declaration of Independence is passed on July 2.
  • 1780
    Pennsylvania is the first state to abolish slavery.
  • 1790
    Philadelphia is made the United States capital, holding that title until 1800.
  • 1832
    Germantown railroad built.
  • 1861
    The Civil War begins, which is opposed by the city's upper classes.
  • 1863
    Battle of Gettysburg takes place.
  • 1876
    At the city's Centennial Exhibtion, the telephone is demonstrated.
  • 1878
    First use of electricity for lighting.
  • 1901
    The first Mummer's Parade is held.
  • 1928
    The Philadelphia Museum of Art is opened.
  • 1950
    Society Hill restoration is begun.
  • 1976
    The Liberty Bell is moved to Independence Mall, and America's 200th birthday is celebrated.
  • 1987
    U.S. Constitution bicentennial celebrated at Independence Hall.
  • 1997
    Plans for renovating Independence Mall are announced by the National Park Service.
  • More Pennsylvania Historical Resources and Destinations

    Betsy Ross House


    State Museum of Pennsylvania


    Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission


    Independence Hall


    Tomb of the Unknown Soldier


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