Pennsylvania ( (listen) PEN-səl-VAY-nee-ə), officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state located in the northeastern, Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The Appalachian Mountains run through its middle. The Commonwealth is bordered by Delaware to the southeast, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to the northwest, New York to the north, and New Jersey to the east.
Pennsylvania is the 33rd-largest state by area, and the 5th-most populous state according to the most recent official U.S. Census count in 2010. It is the 9th-most densely populated of the 50 states. Pennsylvania's two most populous cities are Philadelphia (1,580,863), and Pittsburgh (302,407). The state capital and its 10th largest city is Harrisburg. Pennsylvania has 140 miles (225 km) of waterfront along Lake Erie and the Delaware Estuary.
Pittsburgh is the second largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with a population of 334,563 and the 20th largest metropolitan area in the United States with a population of 2,358,695. It anchors both the Appalachia region and the Ohio River Valley as their largest metropolis. Pittsburgh is the county seat of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Built on land surrounding the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, where they merge to form the Ohio river, Pittsburgh features a skyline of 151 high-rise buildings, two inclined railways and a pre-revolutionary fortification. Residents of the city are called Pittsburghers. The downtown area is located on the triangular parcel at the confluence of the rivers. Pittsburgh is noted for bridges of all types throughout the city and is commonly known as the "The City of Bridges" or "The Bridge Capital" of the U.S.
Though Pittsburgh's economy was traditionally fueled by heavy manufacturing to the detriment of local air and water quality, today it is largely based on healthcare, education, technology and financial services, while Forbes magazine called it one of the cleanest cities in the world. Robotics, for example, is such an emergent sector of the local economy that the Wall Street Journal dubbed the city "Roboburgh." (Read more...)
Did you know ...
- ... that unlike most hotels from the same period, the Eagle Hotel (pictured), built in 1826 in Waterford, Pennsylvania, has quoining?
- ... that Anthony Sadowski, after escaping captivity in the Great Northern War in 1704, came to America and helped Daniel Boone's father found Amity Township, Pennsylvania?
- ... that the State of Pennsylvania and its twin sister, the State of Delaware, were both the first steamboats to make a live radio broadcast and to show movies?
- ... that in 2001, James Hedges of Thompson Township, Fulton County, Pennsylvania, became the first Prohibition Party member elected in a partisan election since 1959?
- ... that the Sturgeon House in Fairview is a rare example of a saltbox house in northwestern Pennsylvania?
William Penn (October 14, 1644 – July 30, 1718) was founder and "Absolute Proprietor" of the Province of Pennsylvania, the English, North American colony and the future U.S. state of Pennsylvania. He was known as an early champion of democracy and religious freedom and famous for his treaty with the Lenape Indians. Well ahead of his time, Penn wrote and urged for a Union of all the English colonies in what was to become the United States of America. The democratic principles that he set forth in the Pennsylvania Frame of Government served as an inspiration for the United States Constitution. As a pacifist Quaker, Penn considered the problems of war and peace deeply, and included a plan for a United States of Europe, "European Dyet, Parliament or Estates," in his voluminous writings.
Penn was born in London in 1644, the son of Admiral Sir William Penn and Margaret Jasper, the daughter of a Rotterdam merchant. His father served in the Royal Navy (controlled by parliament) during the English Civil War and was rewarded by Oliver Cromwell with estates in Ireland. Later, though, his father took part in the restoration of Charles II and was knighted by him. Penn was educated at Chigwell School, by private tutors in Ireland and then at Christ Church, Oxford. (Read more...)
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