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Pennsylvania Information

States of the USA Article Index


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Pennsylvania Info

  • Capital: Harrisburg
  • State abbreviation/Postal code: Penn., PA.
  • Nickname: Keystone State.
  • Became a State: On 12 December, 1787, Pennsylvania became the 2nd State. Only Delaware got there ahead of it, becoming the first state. New Jersey was the third of the 13 original colonies to join the union, followed by Georgia and then Connecticut.
  • Present constitution adopted: 1874. It had three other ones, prior;
  • Motto: "Virtue, Liberty, and Independence"
  • Land area: 46,058 square miles, making it the 33rd largest state.
  • Highest point: Mt. Davis - 3,213 feet (979 m) above sea level.
  • Lowest point: The Delaware River, which ends at sea level.
  • Geographic center: In Centre County, about 2.5 miles southwest of Bellefonte.
  • Number of counties: 66.
  • Largest county: By population and area: Philadelphia County.
  • Major lakes: Lake Erie. Head west from Ashtabula, OH, and you come to Erie, PA. Home of Hershey and right on Lake Erie.
  • Major rivers: Allegheny River, Susquehanna River, Delaware River, Ohio River.

State Symbols:

  • Bird: Ruffed Grouse.
  • Fish: As with some other states, Pennsylvania honors the Brook Trout.
  • Flower: Mountain Laurel.
  • Tree: Eastern Hemlock.

Largest Cities:

  • Philadelphia.
  • Pittsburgh.
  • Allentown.
  • Erie.
  • Reading.
  • Scranton.
  • Bethlehem.
  • Lancaster.
  • Levittown.
  • Altoona.

Some Famous Natives of Pennsylvania:

  • Louisa May Alcott. Author. Germantown.
  • John Barrymore. Actor, Father of Drew Barrymore. Philadelphia.
  • Daniel Boone. Frontiersman. Reading.
  • James Buchanan U.S. President. Mercersburg.
  • Rachel Carson. Author, Biologist. Springdale.
  • Bill Cosby. Actor. Philadelphia.
  • Jimmy Dorsey. Band Leader. Shenandoah.
  • Tommy Dorsey. Band Leader. Mahanoy Plane.
  • W. C. Fields. Philosopher. Comedian. Philadelphia.
  • Robert Fulton. Inventor. Lancaster County.
  • Alexander Haig. Secretary of State. Bala-Cynwyd.
  • Lee Iacocca. Auto executive. Allentown.
  • Reggie Jackson. Baseball Player. Wyncote.
  • Gene Kelly Dancer, Actor. Pittsburgh.
  • S. S. Kresge. Merchant (K-Mart). Bald Mount.
  • Mario Lanza. Musician, Actor. Philadelphia.
  • George C. Marshall. Five-star General. Uniontown.
  • George McClellan. General of the Union Army, drove Lincoln batty with his stalling and excuses. Later replaced by Grant, who, unlike McClellan, used the troops and artillery to execute the war. Philadelphia.
  • Margaret Mead. Anthropologist. Philadelphia.
  • Andrew Mellon. Financier. Pittsburgh.
  • Arnold Palmer. Golfer. Youngstown.
  • Robert E. Peary. Explorer. Cresson.
  • Betsy Griscom Ross. Flagmaker. Philadelphia.
  • B. F. Skinner. Psychologist. Susquehanna.
  • Gertrude Stein. Author. Allegheny.
  • James Stewart. Actor. Indiana.
  • John Updike. Author. Shillington.

Some Pennsylvania Factoids

  • Pennsylvania is the 33rd largest state in land area, but the sixth most populous.
  • Pennsylvania's Borough of Kane is renowned as the "Black Cherry Capital of the World."
  • The town of Indiana is the birthplace and childhood home of Jimmy Stewart. Every Christmas season, the downtown area is decorated in the theme of the film "It's a Wonderful Life." No word on any plans to decorate it up like Washington, DC in the summer.
  • Pearl Buck is from Doylestown, and her home is today a tourist attraction.
  • Doylestown is also home to the Moravian Pottery & Tile Works. Its handmade tiles are still created using the methods and techniques developed by the company's founder, Henry Chapman Mercer.
  • The Philadelphia Zoo, founded by Ben Franklin, is the oldest zoo in the USA.


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