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Philadelphia Misc

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Miscellaneous Philadelphia Information

  • William Penn, a Quaker, founded Philadelphia in 1682.
  • The city layout was based on a simple grid pattern that featured five public squares.
  • Philadelphia is hailed as the birthplace of America; the Declaration of Independence was signed here in 1776; the Constitution, 1787.
  • Philadelphia currently is the 5th largest city in the U.S. – the 2nd largest on the east coast.
  • Fairmount Park is the world’s largest landscaped urban park with over 8,000 acres.
  • The USS Olympia, Admiral Dewey’s flagship of the Spanish American War, is docked at Penn’s Landing.
  • The USS New Jersey, America's most decorated battleship, is docked along the Camden Waterfront, just across from Penn's landing.
  • The Walnut Street Theater is the oldest American theater still in use.
  • Edgar Allan Poe wrote A Tell Tale Heart and The Fall of the House of Usher in Philadelphia, where he resided from 1838 -1844.
  • The Academy of Music, the oldest grand opera house in the U.S. still used for its original purpose, is modeled after la Scala in Milan, Italy.
  • City Hall is the largest municipal building in the U.S. (larger than the U.S. Capitol).
  • Philadelphia has the largest collection of Impressionist and Rodin artwork in the world outside of Paris.
  • The Philadelphia museum of art is the 4th largest art museum in the U.S.
  • 1.5 million people live in Philadelphia which is 129 square miles.
  • Philadelphia has more outdoor artwork and sculptures than any other city in the world.
  • Philadelphia has the second highest number of four-year colleges and universities – 88 in total, second only to New York.
  • 1 out of every six doctors in the U.S. graduated from a Philadelphia medical school or teaching hospital.
  • Pennsylvania is the first state of the fifty United States to list their web site URL on a license plate.
  • In 1909 the first baseball stadium was built in Pittsburgh.
  • Hershey is considered the Chocolate Capital of the United States.
  • In 1913 the first automobile service station opened in Pittsburgh.
  • In 1946 Philadelphia became home to the first computer.
  • Bob Hoffman of York is hailed the world round as the Father of Weightlifting. Hoffman started York Barbell Corp. in 1932 and preached the gospel of physical fitness throughout his life as an U.S. Olympic coach, businessman and philanthropist.
  • The first daily newspaper was published in Philadelphia on Sept. 21, 1784.
  • Philadelphia saw the first Zoological garden in July 1874.
  • Drake Well Museum in Titusville is on the site where Edwin L. Drake drilled the world's first oil well in 1859 and launched the modern petroleum industry.
  • In Hazleton, there is a law on the books that prohibits a person from sipping a carbonated drink while lecturing students in a school auditorium.
  • In Philadelphia in 1775 Johann Behrent built the first piano in America calling it under the name "Piano Forte."
  • Philadelphia is the site of the first presidential mansion.
  • Betsy Ross made the first American flag in Philadelphia.
  • "Doctor, if you don't give me something to help me breathe, I'm going to stop!" came the urgent cry of 16-year old Frederick Gable of Loganville. Vowing not to lose another patient to pneumonia, Dr. George Holtzapple successfully created the first application of oxygen, thus saving his patient's life and winning international fame through his discovery. The year was 1885.
  • Stewartstown hired its first police officer in 1876. He was also the town lamp lighter.
  • Philadelphia is home to the cheesesteak sandwich, water ice, soft pretzels, and TastyKakes.
  • The Rockville Bridge in Harrisburg is the longest stone arch bridge in the world.
  • Kennett Square is known as the Mushroom Capital of the World.
  • The town of Franklin became a center for worldwide oil production following Colonel Edwin Drake's discovery of oil in nearby Titusville.
  • KDKA radio in Pittsburgh produced the first commercial radio broadcast.
  • Philadelphia is home to the Liberty Bell.
  • Each year on Christmas day the "Crossing of the Delaware" is reenacted at Washington Crossing.
  • The Liberty Tunnel in Pittsburgh opened in 1924. At that time the 5,700 foot facility was the longest artificially ventilated automobile tunnel in the world.
  • Pennsylvania is the only original colony not bordered by the Atlantic Ocean.