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Pennsylvania (/ˌpɛnsɪlˈvniə/ (listen) PEN-səl-VAY-nee-ə; Pennsylvania German: Pennsilfaani), officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a U.S. state spanning the Mid-Atlantic, Northeastern, and Appalachian regions of the United States. It borders 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 fifth-most populous state in the United States with over 13 million residents as of 2020. It is the 33rd-largest state by area and it ranks ninth among all states in population density. Nearly half the population (6.09 million) is concentrated in the southeastern Delaware Valley metropolitan area, centered around Philadelphia, the state's largest and nation's sixth most populous city; another one-third of the state's residents live in Greater Pittsburgh (2.37 million) in the southwest. Pennsylvania's three largest cities are Philadelphia (1.6 million), Pittsburgh (302,971), and Allentown (125,845). Other major cities include Erie, Reading, Bethlehem, and Scranton. The state capital is Harrisburg.

Pennsylvania's geography is highly diverse: the Appalachian Mountains run through its center, while the Allegheny and Pocono Mountains span much of the northeast; close to 60% of the state is forested. While it has only 140 miles (225 km) of waterfront along Lake Erie and the Delaware River, Pennsylvania has more navigable rivers than any other state, including the Delaware, Ohio, and Pine Creek. (Full article...)

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Union Station is an Amtrak railroad station and mixed-use commercial building in downtown Erie, in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. It is served by the Lake Shore Limited route, which provides daily passenger service between Chicago and (via two sections east of Albany) New York City or Boston; Erie is the train's only stop in Pennsylvania. The station's ground floor has been redeveloped into commercial spaces, including The Brewerie at Union Station, a brewpub. The building itself is privately owned by the global logistics and freight management company Logistics Plus and serves as its headquarters.

The first railroad station in Erie was established in 1851 but was replaced with the Romanesque Revival-style Union Depot in 1866. Through a series of mergers and acquisitions by competing railroad companies which started not long after the establishment of Erie's first railroads, Union Depot became jointly owned and operated by the New York Central and Pennsylvania railroads. To meet the changing needs of the rapidly growing city, planners designed a more modern structure to replace the original depot. The new Art Deco Union Station, dedicated on December 3, 1927, was the first railroad station of that style in the United States. (Full article...)

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Quehanna Wild Area (/kwəˈhænə/) is a wildlife area within parts of Cameron, Clearfield and Elk counties in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania; with a total area of 48,186 acres (75 sq mi; 195 km2), it covers parts of Elk and Moshannon State Forests. Founded in the 1950s as a nuclear research center, Quehanna has a legacy of radioactive and toxic waste contamination, while also being the largest state forest wild area in Pennsylvania, with herds of elk. The wild area is bisected by the Quehanna Highway and is home to second growth forest with mixed hardwoods and evergreens. Quehanna has two state forest natural areas: the 1,215-acre (492 ha) Wykoff Run Natural Area, and the 917-acre (371 ha) Marion Brooks Natural Area. The latter has the largest stand of white birch in Pennsylvania and the eastern United States.

The land that became Quehanna Wild Area was home to Native Americans, including the Susquehannock and Iroquois, before it was purchased by the United States in 1784. Settlers soon moved into the region and, in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the logging industry cut the virgin forests; clearcutting and forest fires transformed the once verdant land into the "Pennsylvania Desert". Pennsylvania bought this land for its state forests, and in the 1930s the Civilian Conservation Corps worked to improve them. In 1955 the Curtiss-Wright Corporation bought 80 square miles (210 km2) of state forest to focus on developing nuclear-powered jet engines. They named their facility Quehanna for the nearby West Branch Susquehanna River, itself named for the Susquehannocks. (Full article...)
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Rainbows and departing storm clouds over Minsi Lake in Northampton County.

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Hamilton Watch Complex

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Jay Cooke, founder of the bank
Jay Cooke, founder of the bank
Jay Cooke & Company was a U.S. bank that operated from 1861 to 1873. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with branches in New York City and Washington, D.C., the bank helped underwrite the Union Civil War effort. It was the first "wire" brokerage house, pioneering the use of telegraph messages to confirm securities transactions with clients. The bank became overextended in the building of the Northern Pacific Railway and failed, contributing to the Panic of 1873. (Full article...)
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Guion Stewart Bluford Jr. (born November 22, 1942) is an American aerospace engineer, retired U.S. Air Force officer and fighter pilot, and former NASA astronaut in which capacity he became the first African American to go to space. Before becoming an astronaut, he was an officer in the U.S. Air Force, where he remained while assigned to NASA, rising to the rank of colonel. He participated in four Space Shuttle flights between 1983 and 1992. In 1983, as a member of the crew of the Orbiter Challenger on the mission STS-8, he became the first African American in space as well as the second person of African ancestry in space, after Cuban cosmonaut Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez. (Full article...)

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State facts

State Facts
Pennsylvania's largest city Philadelphia
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
Mountain laurel, Pennsylvania's state flower

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