The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a state located in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States of America.
Pennsylvania has been known as the Keystone State since 1802, based in part upon its central location among the original Thirteen Colonies forming the United States. It was also a keystone state economically, having both the industry common to the North, making such wares as Conestoga wagons and rifles, and the agriculture common to the South, producing feed, fiber, food, and tobacco.
Another one of Pennsylvania's nicknames is the Quaker State; in colonial times, it was known officially as the Quaker Province, in recognition of Quaker William Penn's First Frame of Government constitution for Pennsylvania that guaranteed liberty of conscience. Pennsylvania translates to "Penn's woods" and was named after the father of William Penn, the founder of the colony. Quakers faced when they opposed religious ritual, taking oaths, violence, war and military service, and what they viewed as ostentatious frippery.
Pennsylvania has 51 miles (82 km) of coastline along Lake Erie and 57 miles (92 km) of shoreline along the Delaware Estuary. Philadelphia is Pennsylvania's largest city and is home to a major seaport and shipyards on the Delaware River.
The Amish are an Anabaptist Christian denomination, formed in 1693 by Swiss Mennonites led by Jacob Amman. They live in the United States and Canada and are divided into several major groups. The Old Order Amish use horses for farming and transportation, dress in a traditional manner, and forbid electricity or telephones in the home. Church members do not join the military, apply for Social Security benefits, take out insurance or accept any form of financial assistance from the government. Beachy Amish and New Order Amish groups have fewer limitations; some permit cars and electricity, and members may be difficult to distinguish from the general North American population, whom they refer to as "English".
At home, most Amish speak a dialect known as Pennsylvania Dutch, Pennsylvania German, or Deitsch. Children learn English in school. The Amish are divided into separate fellowships consisting of geographical districts or congregations. Each district is fully independent and has its own Ordnung, or set of unwritten rules. Old Order churches may shun or expel members who violate these rules. (Read more...)
Credit: Katie Tegtmeyer
JFK Plaza with the LOVE sculpture and fountain.