Portal:Pennsylvania
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Portal:Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Portal

Pennsylvania ( PEN-s?l-VAY-nee-?), officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state located in the Northeastern, Great Lakes, Appalachian, 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 5th-most populous state according to the most recent official U.S. Census count in 2010. It is the 9th-most densely populated of the 50 states. Pennsylvania's two most populous cities are Philadelphia (1,580,863), and Pittsburgh (302,407). The state capital and its 10th-largest city is Harrisburg. Pennsylvania has 140 miles (225 km) of waterfront along Lake Erie and the Delaware River.

The state is one of the 13 original founding states of the United States; it came into being in 1681 as a result of a royal land grant to William Penn, the son of the state's namesake. Part of Pennsylvania (along the Delaware River), together with the present State of Delaware, had earlier been organized as the Colony of New Sweden. It was the second state to ratify the United States Constitution, on December 12, 1787. Independence Hall, where the United States Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution were drafted, is located in the state's largest city of Philadelphia. During the American Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg was fought in the south central region of the state. Valley Forge near Philadelphia was General Washington's headquarters during the bitter winter of 1777-78.

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PNC Park is a baseball park located on the North Shore of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is the fifth home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the city's Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise. It opened during the 2001 MLB season, after the controlled implosion of the Pirates' previous home, Three Rivers Stadium. PNC Park stands just east of its predecessor along the Allegheny River with a view of the Downtown Pittsburgh skyline. The ballpark is sponsored by PNC Financial Services, which purchased the naming rights in 1998. Constructed of steel and limestone, PNC Park features a natural grass playing surface and seats 38,747 people for baseball.

Plans to build a new stadium for the Pirates originated in 1991, but did not come to fruition for five years. Funded in conjunction with Heinz Field and the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, the park was constructed for $216 million over a 24-month span, faster than most modern stadiums. Built in the "retro-classic" style modeled after past venues like Pittsburgh's Forbes Field, PNC Park also introduced unique features, such as the use of limestone in the building's facade. The park also features a riverside concourse, steel truss work, an extensive out-of-town scoreboard, and local eateries. Several tributes to former Pirate Roberto Clemente were incorporated into the ballpark, which included renaming the Sixth Street Bridge behind it in his honor. In addition to Pirates regular season and postseason home games, PNC Park has hosted other sporting events, including the 2006 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, and numerous concerts. Read more...

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Larrys Creek and the Cogan House Covered Bridge in Cogan House Township, Pennsylvania

Larrys Creek is a 22.9-mile-long (36.9 km) tributary of the West Branch Susquehanna River in Lycoming County in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. A part of the Chesapeake Bay drainage basin, its watershed drains 89.1 square miles (231 km2) in six townships and a borough. The creek flows south from the dissected Allegheny Plateau to the Ridge-and-valley Appalachians through sandstone, limestone, and shale from the Devonian, Mississippian, and Pennsylvanian periods.

The valley's first recorded inhabitants were the Susquehannocks, followed by the Lenape and other tribes. The Great Shamokin Path crossed the creek near its mouth, where Larry Burt, the first Euro-American settler and the man who gave the creek its present name, also lived by 1769. In the 19th century, the creek and its watershed were a center for logging and related industries, including 53 sawmills, grist mills, leather tanneries, coal and iron mines. A 1903 newspaper article claimed "No other stream in the country had so many mills in so small a territory". For transportation, a plank road ran along much of the creek for decades, and two "paper railroads" were planned, but never built. Read more...

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Wiconsico Canal aqueduct

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An 18th century map of Philadelphia

The written history of Philadelphia begins in 1682, when the city was founded by William Penn in the English Crown Province of Pennsylvania between the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers.

Before then, the area was inhabited by the Lenape (Delaware) Indians and Swedish settlers who arrived in the area in the early 1600s. Philadelphia quickly grew into an important colonial city and during the American Revolution was the site of the First and Second Continental Congresses. After the Revolution the city was chosen to be the temporary capital of the United States. At the beginning of the 19th century, the federal and state governments left Philadelphia, but the city remained the cultural and financial center of the country. Philadelphia became one of the first U.S. industrial centers and the city contained a variety of industries, the largest being textiles. Read more...

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During the American Civil War, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania played a critical role in the Union, providing a huge supply of military manpower, equipment, and leadership to the Federal government. The state raised over 360,000 soldiers for the Federal armies, and served as a major source of artillery guns, small arms, ammunition, armor for the new revolutionary style of ironclad types of gunboats for the rapidly expanding United States Navy, and food supplies. The Phoenixville Iron Company by itself produced well over 1,000 cannons, and the Frankford Arsenal was a major supply depot.

Pennsylvania was the site of the bloodiest battle of the war, the Battle of Gettysburg,

which became widely known as the one of the turning points of the Civil War. Numerous smaller engagements and skirmishes were also fought in Pennsylvania during the 1863 Gettysburg Campaign, as well as the following year during a Confederate cavalry raid that culminated in the burning of much of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. The industrial town of York, Pennsylvania, was the largest city in the North to be occupied by the Confederate States Army during the war. Read more...

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State Facts
Pennsylvania's largest city Philadelphia
  • Nickname: The Keystone State
  • Capital: Harrisburg
  • Largest city: Philadelphia
  • Total area: 119,283 square kilometers (46,055 square miles)
  • Population (2000 census): 12,281,054
  • Date admitted to the Union: December 12, 1787 (2nd)
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Mountain laurel, Pennsylvania's state flower

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