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Flag of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.svg

Philadelphia (/ˌfɪləˈdɛlfiə/) is the largest city in the U.S. state and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the sixth-most populous U.S. city, with a 2017 census-estimated population of 1,580,863. 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 as of 2017. 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 was one of the nation's capitals during the revolution, and served 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 as of 2015. 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.

Selected picture

A572, Mount Pleasant Mansion, Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 2017.jpg
Mount Pleasant, 2017

Mount Pleasant is a historic mansion in east Fairmount Park, situated atop a hill overlooking the Schuylkill River. The mansion was built around 1761–62 in what was then the countryside outside the city. The owner was John Macpherson, a Scottish privateer who named the house Clunie. The architect was Thomas Nevell (1721–1797), an apprentice of Edmund Woolley who had built Independence Hall. Later owners included Benedict Arnold and finally Jonathan Williams, who was Benjamin Franklin's grandnephew and the first superintendent of West Point. The house is administered by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1966. Mount Pleasant was also designated a National Historic Landmark in 1974.

Selected article

Liberty Bell with Independence Hall beyond window across Chestnut St.

The Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of American independence. Formerly placed in the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House (now renamed Independence Hall), the bell today is located in the Liberty Bell Center in Independence National Historical Park. The bell was commissioned in 1752 by the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly from the London firm of Lester and Pack (known subsequently as the Whitechapel Bell Foundry), and was cast with the lettering "Proclaim LIBERTY Throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants Thereof," a Biblical reference from the Book of Leviticus (25:10). The bell first cracked when rung after its arrival in Philadelphia, and was twice recast by local workmen John Pass and John Stow, whose last names appear on the bell. In its early years the bell was used to summon lawmakers to legislative sessions and to alert citizens about public meetings and proclamations. Many bells—most likely including the Liberty Bell—were rung on July 8, 1776 in Philadelphia to announce the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence, four days after its signing. In the 1830s, the bell was adopted as a symbol by abolitionist societies, who were the first to call it the Liberty Bell. The bell acquired its distinctive large crack in the early 19th century. A widespread story claims it cracked while ringing after the death of Chief Justice John Marshall in 1835. Beginning in 1885, the City of Philadelphia sent it to various expositions and patriotic gatherings. The bell attracted huge crowds wherever it went, additional cracking occurred and pieces were chipped away by souvenir hunters. The last journey occurred in 1915, after which all requests were refused. The city allowed the National Park Service to take custody of the bell after World War II, with the city retaining ownership. In 1976, the bell was moved from its longtime home in Independence Hall to a glass pavilion across the street on Independence Mall, and then to the larger Liberty Bell Center in 2003. The bell has a circumference of 12 ft (3.7 m), a diameter of 3.82 ft (1.16 m), and a mass of 2,080 lb (940 kg).

Selected biography

David Bowditch Morse.

David Morse is an American stage, television, and film actor. He first came to national attention as Dr. Jack Morrison in the medical drama St. Elsewhere from 1982 to 1988. Morse continued his movie career with roles in Dancer in the Dark, The Green Mile, Disturbia, The Long Kiss Goodnight, The Rock, Extreme Measures, Twelve Monkeys, 16 Blocks, and Hounddog. In 2006, Morse had a recurring role as Detective Michael Tritter on the medical drama House, receiving an Emmy Award nomination. He also had a supporting role in the recent movie Disturbia. In 2008, Morse portrayed George Washington in the HBO Miniseries John Adams for which he received his second Emmy nomination. Morse has received acclaim for his portrayal of Uncle Peck on the Off-Broadway play How I Learned to Drive for which he earned a Drama Desk and Obie Award. He also had success on Broadway, portraying James "Sharky" Harkin in The Seafarer. Morse has been married to actress Susan Wheeler Duff since June 19, 1982. In 1994, Morse moved to Philadelphia with his family after the 1994 Northridge earthquake to be near his wife's family.

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"You look at passers-by in Rome and think, 'Do they know what they have here?' You can say the same about Philadelphia. Do people know what went on here?"*

Frank McCourt

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