Did You Know?
- The land grant given to William Penn from King Charles II on February 28, 1681 is one of the largest individual land grants in history.
- William Penn’s establishment of governing by community commissions and freedom of religion were two innovations copied throughout later established colonies throughout the New World.
- After the American Revolution, Pennsylvania was the second state to join the United States after ratifying the U.S. Constitution on December 12, 1787.
- The “Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery” was passed by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 1780, making it the first legislative enactment to end slavery in the United States.
- James Buchanan is the only United States president from Pennsylvania. He served from 1857 to 1861.
- Crystal Bird Fauset was elected to the Pennsylvania state legislature in 1938, making her the first black woman elected to a state legislature in the nation.
- Pennsylvania’s economy is the 19th largest in the world. Our GDP is comparable to Turkey and larger than Saudi Arabia and Switzerland.
- 21 Pennsylvania companies were listed in the 2017 Fortune 500.
- Pennsylvania has the 5th largest population in the United States.
- The Pennsylvania Abolition Society founded in 1775 was the nation’s first society founded with the primary goal to end the practice of slavery.
- The Moor College of Art & Design was founded in 1848 by Sarah Worthington Peter. Originally called the Philadelphia School of Design for Women, it was the first visual arts college for women in the United States.
- The world’s first ferris wheel was designed by George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. from Pittsburgh. He designed the attraction for the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.
- The Jeep was created by The American Bantam Car Company in Butler, PA after the US Army called for an all-purpose, all-terrain at the outbreak of World War II. Jeep mass production began in 1941.
- The smiley face emoticon, the beginning stage of modern day emojis, was invented by Professor Scott E. Fahlman of Carnegie Mellon in 1982.
- Pennsylvania is home to 7 of the top 100 Universities in the nation. They are the University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon University, Lehigh University, Villanova University, Penn State, University of Pittsburgh, Drexel University, and Temple University.
- Four Pennsylvania universities (University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon University, Lehigh University, and Villanova University) are ranked within the top 50 universities in the nation.
- The first zoo in the United States is the Philadelphia Zoo, which opened in 1859.
- Julius Sturgis opened the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery in Lititz in 1861, making it the first commercial pretzel bakery in the nation.
- In 1903, the Pittsburgh Pirates played the Boston Pilgrims in the first World Series.
- The first Little League Baseball game was played in Williamsport in 1939.
- The Slinky debuted at a Gimbels department store in Philadelphia in 1945
- The York Roasting Plant in York, PA is one of the largest coffee roasting plants in the world. It is also the largest distribution center for Starbucks.
- Established in 1829 in Pottsville, D.G. Yuengling & Sons is the oldest operating craft brewery in the country.
- Pennsylvania produces approximately 3.9 million barrels of craft beer per year, making it the #1 producer of craft beer in the nation.
- Auntie Anne’s pretzels began at a stand in the Downingtown Farmer’s Market in 1988 and is headquartered in Lancaster.
- Kennett Square is known as the “Mushroom Capital of the World”
- Pennsylvania is considered the “Snack Food Capital of the World” with brands Snyder’s of Hanover (founded 1909), UTZ (1921), Herr’s Snack Factory (1946), Martin’s Snack Food (1941), Middleswarth Potato Chips (1942), and Hershey’s Chocolate (1894) all beginning their production in central Pennsylvania.
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Why not stay in PA?
We asked our senators what some of their favorite stay-cation spots were in PA.
Click the audio below to hear what they think are the best spots to enjoy in their districts.
Sen. Blake Stay-cation
Sen. Farnese Stay-cation
Sen. Street Stay-cation
Sen. Brewster Stay-cation
Sen. Haywood Stay-cation
Sen. Costa Stay-cation
Sen. Schwank Stay-cation
Sen. Yudichak Stay-cation
By the numbers, Pennsylvania has:
7 Professional Sports Teams
12 Symphony Orchestras
20 Ski Resorts
121 State Parks
184 Miles of Rail Trails
205 Craft Breweries
229 Miles of the Appalachian Trail
86,000 Miles of Streams & Rivers