Pennsylvania ( (listen) PEN-sil-VAY-nee-ə), officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state located in the northeastern, Great Lakes 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 Estuary.
The First Bank of the United States was a bank chartered by the United States Congress on February 25, 1791. The charter was for 20 years. The Bank was created to handle the financial needs and requirements of the central government of the newly formed United States, which had previously been thirteen individual colonies with their own banks, currencies, and financial institutions and policies.
Officially proposed by Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury, to the first session of the First Congress in 1790, the concept for the Bank had both its support and origin in and among Northern merchants and more than a few New England state governments. It was, however, eyed with great suspicion by the representatives of the Southern States, whose chief industry, agriculture, did not require centrally concentrated banks, and whose feelings of states' rights and suspicion of Northern motives ran strong.
In the last decade of the eighteenth century the United States had just three banks but more than fifty different currencies in circulation: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese coinage, scrip issued by states, cities, backwood stores, and big city enterprises. The values of these currencies were wildly unstable, thereby making it a paradise for politically indifferent currency speculators who thrive on uncertainty. In addition, the value and exchange rate was almost always outdated or unknown by the party agreeing to receive it, especially the farther it moved away from the coast; and, thanks to distances, primitive roads, and absence of communications technology, values were not only unknown but unknowable as well. (Read more...)
Johnstown is a city in Cambria County, Pennsylvania, United States, 60 miles (97 km) miles east of Pittsburgh and 47 miles (76 km) west-south west of Altoona, Pennsylvania. The population was 23,906 at the 2000 census. It is the principal city of the Johnstown, Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Cambria County and Somerset County. As of July 1,2006, the Metropolitan Statistical Area has a population of 146,967.
Johnstown, settled in 1770, is perhaps most famous for its three floods. The "Great Flood" of May 31, 1889 occurred after the South Fork Dam collapsed 14 miles (22.53 km) upstream from the city during heavy rains. At least 2,209 people died as a result of the flood and subsequent fire that raged through the debris. Other major floods occurred in 1936 and 1977. (Read more...)
Did you know ...
- ... that Lyman Run State Park (pictured) in Pennsylvania was the site of logging operations, a Civilian Conservation Corps camp, and a World War II prisoner-of-war camp before becoming a Pennsylvania state park in 1951?
- ... that the Jersey Shore, Pine Creek and Buffalo Railway, once promoted to connect the Pennsylvania–New York oil fields with New York City, instead became part of the New York Central's line to the coal mines around Clearfield, Pennsylvania?
- … that Colonel Denning State Park, which opened in Pennsylvania in 1936, is named for an American Revolutionary War hero, Colonel William Denning, who was a sergeant not a colonel?
- … that Wyoming Seminary, a private school in Kingston, Pennsylvania, participated in the first nighttime American football game in 1892?
- … that Frances Slocum State Park in Pennsylvania is named for a woman captured by the Lenape at age 5, who permanently lived with Native Americans despite reuniting with her family 59 years later?
William Penn (October 14, 1644 – July 30, 1718) was founder and "Absolute Proprietor" of the Province of Pennsylvania, the English, North American colony and the future U.S. state of Pennsylvania. He was known as an early champion of democracy and religious freedom and famous for his treaty with the Lenape Indians. Well ahead of his time, Penn wrote and urged for a Union of all the English colonies in what was to become the United States of America. The democratic principles that he set forth in the Pennsylvania Frame of Government served as an inspiration for the United States Constitution. As a pacifist Quaker, Penn considered the problems of war and peace deeply, and included a plan for a United States of Europe, "European Dyet, Parliament or Estates," in his voluminous writings.
Penn was born in London in 1644, the son of Admiral Sir William Penn and Margaret Jasper, the daughter of a Rotterdam merchant. His father served in the Royal Navy (controlled by parliament) during the English Civil War and was rewarded by Oliver Cromwell with estates in Ireland. Later, though, his father took part in the restoration of Charles II and was knighted by him. Penn was educated at Chigwell School, by private tutors in Ireland and then at Christ Church, Oxford. (Read more...)
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