Portal:Philadelphia

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The Philadelphia Portal

Independence Hall.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is the fifth-most-populous city in the United States and the largest in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, both in area and population. Since 1854, the city has been coterminous with Philadelphia County. Philadelphia has the second-largest downtown residential population in the U.S., behind New York, just edging out Chicago. The Philadelphia metropolitan area is the fourth-largest in the U.S. by the official definition, with some 6.9 million people. Philadelphia is the central city of the Delaware Valley metropolitan area.

Philadelphia is one of the oldest and most historically significant U.S. cities. It was the nation's first capital. At the time of the American Revolution, it was the second-largest English-speaking city in the world, after only London. Into the first part of the 19th century, it was the country's most populous city and eclipsed Boston and New York City in political and social importance. Benjamin Franklin played an extraordinary role in Philadelphia's rise.

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"Runaway Advertisement," The Pennsylvania Gazette, May 24, 1796.
Photo credit: The Pennsylvania Gazette

Oney Judge was a slave at George Washington's plantation, Mount Vernon, in Virginia. A servant in Washington's presidential households beginning in 1789, she escaped to freedom from the Philadelphia President's House on Saturday, May 21, 1796, and defied his attempts to recapture her. More is known about her than any other Mount Vernon slave because she was twice interviewed by abolitionist newspapers in the 1840s. The Pennsylvania Gazette ran this "runaway" advertisement on May 24, 1796.

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I-95 southwest of Philadelphia.

Interstate 95 in the state of Pennsylvania, officially known as the Delaware Expressway and locally known as "95," runs for 51 miles from the Delaware state line near Marcus Hook to the New Jersey state line crossing the Delaware River near Yardley. It parallels its namesake Delaware River for its entire route through the city of Philadelphia and its suburbs. It is a major route through the city and the metropolitan Delaware Valley, providing access to locally important landmarks such as Philadelphia International Airport, the Philadelphia Sports Complex, Penn's Landing, and Franklin Mills. The road is among the busiest in the commonwealth, second only to the Schuylkill Expressway. An estimated 169,000 motorists utilize the road daily.

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Wilton Norman "Wilt" Chamberlain

Wilt Chamberlain was an American professional NBA basketball player for the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers; and also played for the Harlem Globetrotters. The 7 foot 1 inch Chamberlain, who weighed 250 lbs as a rookie before bulking up to 275 lb and eventually over 300 lb with the Lakers, played the center position and is considered by his contemporaries as one of the greatest and most dominant players in the history of the NBA. Chamberlain holds numerous official NBA all-time records, setting records in many scoring, rebounding and durability categories. Among other notable accomplishments, he is the only player in NBA history to average more than 40 and 50 points in a season or score 100 points in a single NBA game. He also won seven scoring, nine field goal percentage, and eleven rebounding titles, and once even led the league in assists. Although suffering a long string of professional losses, Chamberlain had a successful career, winning two NBA titles, earning four regular-season Most Valuable Player awards, the Rookie of the Year award, one NBA Finals MVP award, and being selected to 13 All-Star Games and ten All-NBA First and Second teams. Chamberlain was subsequently enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1978, elected into the NBA's 35th Anniversary Team of 1980, and chosen as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History of 1996. After his basketball career, Chamberlain played volleyball in the short-lived International Volleyball Association, was president of this organization and enshrined in the IVA Hall of Fame for his contributions. Chamberlain was also a successful businessman, authored several books and appeared in the movie Conan the Destroyer. He was a lifelong bachelor, but became notorious for his claim to have had sex with 20,000 women, a statement which has entered popular culture.

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"Socially, Philadelphia was still a fairly provincial city, its business community governed by the mores of the Main Line. Politically, it was a cauldron of ethnic rivalries, dominated by competing Irish and Italian constituencies."

Andrea Mitchell

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