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 First Bank of the United States was a bank chartered by the United States Congress on February 25, 1791. The charter was for 20 years. The Bank was created to handle the financial needs and requirements of the central government of the newly formed United States, which had previously been thirteen individual colonies with their own banks, currencies, and financial institutions and policies.
Officially proposed by Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury, to the first session of the First Congress in 1790, the concept for the Bank had both its support and origin in and among Northern merchants and more than a few New England state governments. It was, however, eyed with great suspicion by the representatives of the Southern States, whose chief industry, agriculture, did not require centrally concentrated banks, and whose feelings of states' rights and suspicion of Northern motives ran strong.
In the last decade of the eighteenth century the United States had just three banks but more than fifty different currencies in circulation: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese coinage, scrip issued by states, cities, backwood stores, and big city enterprises. The values of these currencies were wildly unstable, thereby making it a paradise for politically indifferent currency speculators who thrive on uncertainty. In addition, the value and exchange rate was almost always outdated or unknown by the party agreeing to receive it, especially the farther it moved away from the coast; and, thanks to distances, primitive roads, and absence of communications technology, values were not only unknown but unknowable as well. (Read more...)
Scranton is the county seat of Lackawanna County in Northeastern Pennsylvania, USA. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 76,415 (2006 estimate: 72,861). Scranton is Pennsylvania's sixth most populous city. Scranton is the geographic and cultural center of the Lackawanna River valley. It is the largest city located in a contiguous quilt-work of former anthracite coal mining communities including the smaller cities of Wilkes-Barre, Pittston, and Carbondale. Scranton was incorporated as a borough on February 14, 1856 and as a city on April 23, 1866.
Present-day Scranton and the surrounding area had been inhabited by the native Lenape tribe, from whose language "Lackawanna" (or "le-can-hanna", meaning "stream that forks") is derived. Gradually, settlers from New England came to the area in the late 1700s, establishing mills and other small businesses, and their village became known as Slocum Hollow. Isaac Tripp, known as the first settler, built his home here in 1778 which still stands in the Providence section of the city as a testament to this era.
The city is also notably known as the setting of the current NBC sitcom The Office. (Read more...)
John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie (October 21, 1917 – January 6, 1993) was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, singer, and composer. He was born in Cheraw, South Carolina, the youngest of nine children.Dizzie's father was a local bandleader, so instruments were made available to Dizzy. He started to play the piano at the age of 4. Together with Charlie Parker, he was a major figure in the development of bebop and modern jazz.
In addition to featuring in these epochal moments in bebop, he was instrumental in founding Afro-Cuban jazz, the modern jazz version of what early-jazz pioneer Jelly Roll Morton referred to as the "Spanish Tinge". Gillespie was a trumpet virtuoso and gifted improviser, building on the virtuoso style of Roy Eldridge but adding layers of harmonic complexity previously unknown in jazz. In addition to his instrumental skills, Dizzy's beret and horn-rimmed spectacles, his scat singing, his bent horn, pouched cheeks and his light-hearted personality were essential in popularizing bebop, which was originally regarded as threatening and frightening music by many listeners raised on older styles of jazz. He had an enormous impact on virtually every subsequent trumpeter, both by the example of his playing and as a mentor to younger musicians.
He also used a trumpet whose bell was bent at a 45 degree angle rather than a traditional straight trumpet. According to Gillespie's autobiography, this was originally the result of accidental damage caused during a job on January 6, 1953, but the constriction caused by the bending altered the tone of the instrument, and Gillespie liked the effect. Gillespie's biographer Alyn Shipton writes that Gillespie likely got the idea when he saw a similar instrument in 1937 in Manchester, England while on tour with the Teddy Hill Orchestra.
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