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The Philadelphia Portal

The Philadelphia skyline from the South Street Bridge, January 2020

Philadelphia, commonly referred to as Philly, is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania and the sixth-most populous city in the nation, with a population of 1,603,797 in the 2020 census. The city is the urban core of the larger Delaware Valley, also known as the Philadelphia metropolitan area, the nation's seventh-largest and one of the world's largest metropolitan regions with 6.245 million residents in its metropolitan statistical area and 7.366 million residents in its combined statistical area.

Philadelphia is a national cultural center, hosting more outdoor sculptures and murals than any other city in the nation. Fairmount Park, when combined with adjacent Wissahickon Valley Park in the same watershed, is 2,052 acres (830 ha), representing one of the nation's largest and the world's 45th-largest urban park. The city is known for its arts, culture, cuisine, and colonial and Revolution-era history; in 2016, it attracted 42 million domestic tourists who spent $6.8 billion, representing $11 billion in economic impact to the city and its surrounding Pennsylvania counties. With five professional sports teams and one of the nation's most loyal fan bases, Philadelphia is often ranked as the nation's best city for professional sports fans. The city has a culturally and philanthropically active LGBTQ+ community. Philadelphia also has played an immensely influential historic and ongoing role in the development and evolution of American music, especially R&B, soul, and rock. (Full article...)

Schuylkill Expressway, approaching the South Street exit.
Schuylkill Expressway, approaching the South Street exit.

The Schuylkill Expressway is a freeway through southeastern Montgomery County, Pennsylvania and the city of Philadelphia, and the easternmost segment of Interstate 76 in the state of Pennsylvania. It extends from the Valley Forge exit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike in King of Prussia, paralleling its namesake Schuylkill River for most of the route, to the Walt Whitman Bridge in South Philadelphia. It serves as the primary corridor into Philadelphia from points west. Constructed over a period of ten years from 1949 to 1959, a large portion of the expressway predates the 1956 introduction of Interstate Highway System; many of these portions were not built to contemporary standards. The rugged terrain and limited riverfront space covered by the route has largely stymied later attempts to upgrade or widen the highway, despite the road being highly over-capacity; it has become notorious for its chronic congestion. The Schuylkill Expressway is the busiest road in Philadelphia, as well as in the entire state of Pennsylvania.

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Geno's Steaks, 9th St. and Passyunk Ave. in South Philly, 2007

Geno's Steaks is a South Philadelphia restaurant specializing in cheesesteaks. Founded in 1966 by Joe Vento, Geno's is located directly across the street from rival Pat's King of Steaks, which is generally credited with having invented the steak sandwich in 1933. Geno's does not chop the meat, while Pat's does. The cheesesteak has become a signature dish for the city.

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George Brinton McClellan
George Brinton McClellan

George B. McClellan was a major general during the American Civil War. He organized the famous Army of the Potomac and served briefly (November 1861 to March 1862) as the general-in-chief of the Union Army. Early in the war, McClellan played an important role in raising a well-trained and organized army for the Union. Although McClellan was meticulous in his planning and preparations, these attributes may have hampered his ability to challenge aggressive opponents in a fast-moving battlefield environment. He chronically overestimated the strength of enemy units and was reluctant to apply principles of mass, frequently leaving large portions of his army unengaged at decisive points. McClellan's Peninsula Campaign in 1862 ended in failure, with retreats from attacks by General Robert E. Lee's smaller army and an unfulfilled plan to seize the Confederate capital of Richmond. His performance at the bloody Battle of Antietam blunted Lee's invasion of Maryland, but allowed Lee to eke out a precarious tactical draw and avoid destruction, despite being outnumbered. As a result, McClellan's leadership skills during battles were questioned by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, who eventually removed him from command, first as general-in-chief, then from the Army of the Potomac. Lincoln was famously quoted as saying, "If General McClellan does not want to use the army, I would like to borrow it for a time." Despite this, he was the most popular of that army's commanders with its soldiers, who felt that he had their morale and well-being as paramount concerns. McClellan became the unsuccessful Democratic nominee opposing Lincoln in the 1864 presidential election. His party had an anti-war platform, promising to end the war and negotiate with the Confederacy, which McClellan was forced to repudiate, damaging the effectiveness of his campaign. He served as the 24th Governor of New Jersey from 1878 to 1881.

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"We're standing here in Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love, the birthplace of freedom; where the founding fathers authored the Declaration of Independence...and I don't recall that glorious document saying anything about all straight men are created equal. I believe it says all men are created equal."

Joe Miller (Denzel Washington) in the film Philadelphia, writer Ron Nyswaner

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