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Philadelphia, known colloquially as Philly, is the largest city in the U.S. state and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the sixth-most populous U.S. city, with a 2018 census-estimated population of 1,584,138. Since 1854, the city has been coterminous with Philadelphia County, the most populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U.S. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents . Philadelphia is also the economic and cultural anchor of the greater Delaware Valley, located along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, within the Northeast megalopolis. The Delaware Valley's population of 7.2 million ranks it as the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States.

William Penn, an English Quaker, founded the city in 1682 to serve as capital of the Pennsylvania Colony. Philadelphia played an instrumental role in the American Revolution as a meeting place for the Founding Fathers of the United States, who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 at the Second Continental Congress, and the Constitution at the Philadelphia Convention of 1787. Several other key events occurred in Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War including the First Continental Congress, the preservation of the Liberty Bell, the Battle of Germantown, and the Siege of Fort Mifflin. Philadelphia remained the nation's largest city until being overtaken by New York City in 1790; the city was also one of the nation's capitals during the revolution, serving as temporary U.S. capital while Washington, D.C. was under construction. In the 19th century, Philadelphia became a major industrial center and a railroad hub. The city grew from an influx of European immigrants, most of whom came from Ireland, Italy and Germany—the three largest reported ancestry groups in the city . In the early 20th century, Philadelphia became a prime destination for African Americans during the Great Migration after the Civil War, as well as Puerto Ricans. The city's population doubled from one million to two million people between 1890 and 1950.

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Oney Judge Runaway Ad.jpg
Runaway advertisement in The Pennsylvania Gazette, May 23, 1796

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.

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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.

Selected biography

Edmund Norwood Bacon was a 20th century American urban planner and architect born in Philadelphia. During his tenure as the executive director of the City Planning Commission from 1949 to 1970, his visions shaped the city to such an extent that he has been called "The Father of Modern Philadelphia". Serving under mayors Samuel, Clark, Dilworth, and Tate during the mid-century era of urban renewal, his work brought him national attention along with his counterparts Edward Logue in Boston and Robert Moses in New York City. He appeared on the covers of Time magazine in 1964, and Life magazine in 1965, the latter including a cover story about his work. His design concepts were realized in Penn Center, Market East, Penn's Landing, Society Hill, Independence Mall, and the Far Northeast. Bacon received numerous honors including the Frank P. Brown Medal in 1962, the American Planning Association Distinguished Service Award, and an honorary doctorate from Penn. Bacon was elected into the National Academy of Design as an associate member in 1983, and became a full member in 1994. In his final years, Bacon helped found and served as an honorary director of The Ed Bacon Foundation whose programs are now managed by the Edmund N. Bacon Memorial Committee at the Philadelphia Center for Architecture. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission dedicated a state historical marker honoring Bacon's memory and commemorating his work at the northwest corner of 15th Street and J.F.K. Boulevard by LOVE Park, an urban square he had designed. Bacon was the father of actor Kevin Bacon.

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"Here lies W. C. Fields. I would rather be living in Philadelphia."

W. C. Fields proposing his epitaph.

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