Portal:Pennsylvania

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Introduction

Flag of Pennsylvania.svg

Pennsylvania (/ˌpɛnsɪlˈvniə/ (About this sound listen); PEN-sil-VAY-nee-ə, officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state located in the northeastern 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 6th-most populous state according to the last official US census count in 2010. It is the 9th-most densely populated of the 50 states. Pennsylvania's two most populous cities are Philadelphia (1,567,872), and Pittsburgh (303,625). 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.

Selected article

River of Rocks.jpg

Hawk Mountain is a mountain ridge, part of the Appalachian Mountains, located in central-eastern Pennsylvania near Reading and Allentown. It is a part of the Blue Mountain Ridge. It is primarily known as home to the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. Located along the Appalachian flyway, the Sanctuary is a prime location for the viewing of kettling and migrating raptors with an average of 20,000 hawks, eagles and falcons passing the lookouts every year. The birds are identified and counted by staff and volunteers to produce annual counts of migrating raptors that represent the world's longest record of raptor populations. These counts have provided conservationists with valuable information on changes in raptor numbers in North America.

The River of Rocks is visible and accessible from the Sanctuary. The boulders were formed by periglacial processes in the Pleistocene epoch, or "ice age." (Read more...)

Selected city

DowntownScranton2003.jpg

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...)

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St. Paul Cathedral.jpg
Credit: brunkfordbraun
St. Paul Cathedral in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh.

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Selected biography

Dizzy Gillespie playing horn 1955.jpg

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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