The Philadelphia Portal

The Philadelphia skyline from the South Street Bridge, January 2020
The Philadelphia skyline from the South Street Bridge, January 2020

Philadelphia is a major city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the United States. With a population of 1,603,797 as of 2020, Philadelphia is Pennsylvania's most populous city, the sixth most populous city in the U.S., and the second most populous city on the U.S. East Coast, behind New York City. Since 1854, the city has had the same geographic boundaries as Philadelphia County, the most populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the Delaware Valley, the nation's seventh largest and world's 35th largest metropolitan region with 6.096 million residents .

In the 19th and 20th centuries, Philadelphia became a major national industrial center and railroad hub. Its industrial jobs attracted European immigrants, most of whom initially came from Ireland and Germany, the two largest reported ancestry groups in the city . Later immigrant groups in the 20th century came from Italy (Italian being the third-largest European ethnic ancestry currently reported in Philadelphia) and other Southern European and Eastern European countries. In the early 20th century, Philadelphia became a prime destination for African Americans during the Great Migration after the Civil War. Puerto Ricans began moving to the city in large numbers in the period between World War I and II, and in even greater numbers in the post-war period. The city's population doubled from one million to two million people between 1890 and 1950. (Full article...)

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Independence Hall in the 1770s.

The Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783 (also known as the Philadelphia Mutiny) was an anti-government protest by nearly 400 soldiers of the Pennsylvania Militia in June 1783. The militiamen, veterans of the Revolutionary War, surrounded Independence Hall demanding that the state legislature, meeting on the second floor, pay them their long-overdue wages. The United States Congress, meeting on the first floor, felt threatened and demanded that John Dickinson, President of the Executive Council of Pennsylvania, remove the soldiers by force, which he refused to do. The noisy protest resulted in Congress vacating Philadelphia (for Princeton, New Jersey), and illustrated the need for the national capital to be in a district under federal control.

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Christ Church Phila crop.JPG

Christ Church is an Episcopal church in the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia. Founded in 1695 as a parish of the Church of England, it played an integral role in the founding of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States. In 1785, its rector, William White, became the first Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. From 1754 to 1810, the church's 196-foot (60 m.) tower and steeple was the tallest structure in North America. Christ Church's congregation included 15 signers of the Declaration of Independence. Revolutionary War leaders who attended Christ Church include George Washington, Robert Morris, and Benjamin Franklin. Christ Church was added to the National Register of Historic Places and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1970.

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Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe was an American writer, poet, editor and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. He is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career. He was born as Edgar Poe in Boston, Massachusetts; he was orphaned young when his mother died shortly after his father abandoned the family. Poe was taken in by John and Frances Allan, of Richmond, Virginia, but they never formally adopted him. He attended the University of Virginia for one semester but left due to lack of money. After enlisting in the Army and later failing as an officer's cadet at West Point, Poe parted ways with the Allans. Poe's publishing career began humbly, with an anonymous collection of poems, Tamerlane and Other Poems (1827), credited only to "a Bostonian". Poe switched his focus to prose and spent the next several years working for literary journals and periodicals, becoming known for his own style of literary criticism. His work forced him to move between several cities, including Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. In January 1845, Poe published his poem "The Raven" to instant success. On October 7, 1849, at age 40, Poe died in Baltimore; the cause of his death is unknown and has been variously attributed to alcohol, brain congestion, cholera, drugs, heart disease, rabies, suicide, tuberculosis, and other agents. Poe and his works influenced literature in the United States and around the world, as well as in specialized fields, such as cosmology and cryptography.

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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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