Introduction - PennsylvaniaPennsylvania is a mid-sized state in the Northeast region of the United States. What it lacks in size, it makes up for in its rich history and interesting culture. Among the many places where visitors to the state are drawn to each year include the Independence National Historic Park and the Liberty Bell, Gettysburg National Military Park, Valley Forge, the rolling hills of Amish country, and Hershey Park. Did you know that Philadelphia, which is where the nations capital resided for ten years, lost the honor to Washington D.C. in the summer of 1800 when the U.S. Constitution was ratified? In the kid-friendly format below, you'll find a list of more quick facts, interesting information, and historical facts about this great state.
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State of Pennsylvania Quick Facts
- Pennsylvania was the second state to join the union.
- Pennsylvania officially became a state on December 12, 1787.
- The state capital of Pennsylvania is Harrisburg.
- Pennsylvania is the 6th most populated state behind California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Illinois (source 2013 United States Census Bureau estimate).
- The population of Pennsylvania is 12,773,801 (source 2013 United States Census Bureau estimate).
- The state flower of Pennsylvania is the Kalmia Latifolia, also known as the Mountain Laurel.
- Pennsylvania has several nicknames including Coal State, Keystone State, Quaker State, Oil State, and State of Independence.
- Residents of Pennsylvania are sometimes called Pennsylvanians or Steelmen.
- There are several major bodies of water in Pennsylvania which include Lake Erie, the Ohio River, the Delaware River and the Susquehanna River.
- The Pennsylvania state song is simply called "Pennsylvania".
Pennsylvania Interesting Facts
- The Ruffed Grouse, also called a partridge, became Pennsylvania's state bird in 1931.
- With over 8 million acres of farmland, Pennsylvania produces a wide variety of crops which the state depends on for its local economy.
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is home to the Liberty Bell, a 2,080 pound symbol of American independence.
- Hershey, Pennsylvania is nicknamed the "sweetest place on earth" and thought of by many as the chocolate capital of the world.
- Pennsylvania has the highest Amish population in the United States of America.
State of Pennsylvania Historical Facts
- In 1681, Pennsylvania was granted to a Quaker named William Penn by King Charles II, the King of England as a means of settling a loan with Penn's father.
- Two of the most important documents to shape American history were both written and signed in Philadelphia. The Declaration of Independence, signed in 1776, announced that the thirteen colonies under British rule wanted to be independent states. The Constitution, signed in 1787, created the framework for government as we know it.
- In 1863, Pennsylvania was the site of one of the biggest and most well-known battles of the American Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg. Robert E. Lee and his confederate Army lost the battle to the Union Army forever turning the tides of the Civil War.
- In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered what is known to be one of the greatest speeches in the history of the United States in Gettysburg Pennsylvania; the Gettysburg Address.
- The Library Company of Philadelphia, founded in 1731 by Ben Franklin, was the United States first endeavor in loaning books to the public, and due to its success, other cities soon followed.