Weird Philly: 50 Strange facts about Philadelphia

Weird Philly: 50 Strange facts about Philadelphia

Image for postVia Visit Philly

As the largest city in Pennsylvania, there is a lot about Philadelphia that many people don?t know. Of course there are the basic facts like Philly is home to the Constitution, Liberty Bell, and other historical facts, but how often do you hear some of these strange facts?

  1. Home to first general use computer ? Philadelphia had the first electronic computer in 1946. It weighed 27 pounds and was much faster than many other computing devices at the time.
  2. Home to the first hospital ? Philadelphia was also home to the first hospital in 1751. Dr. Thomas Bond and Benjamin Franklin founded the Pennsylvania Hospital to care for ?the sick-poor and insane? living on the streets of Philadelphia.

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6. The world?s largest cheesesteak ? In 1988, Philadelphia?s home football team, the Eagles, helped to create the largest sandwich that was, shocker, the length of a football field.

7. The first business in Philly ? Philadelphia?s first business was a beer brewery called the Philadelphia Brewing Company.

8. Signing the Constitution ? John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were both out of the city on business when the document was signed.

9. Betsey Ross? Philadelphia home ? Tourists and locals can visit were people claim the first flag was sewn. Unfortunately, there is no evidence Ross sewed the first flag.

10. Immigrant Heritage ? Philadelphia is home to the second largest Irish and Italian populations Philadelphia is only second behind New City for the most Irish and Italian people.

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11. Mural capital of the U.S. ? With over 2,000 outdoor murals, Philadelphia is the mural capital of the U.S. Philadelphia is home to many local artists, many of which have participated in the creation of the murals spread across the city.

12. Sculptor city ? Philadelphia has the largest collection of sculptor work outside of Paris. Since so many artists live in the city, its no shock that Philadelphia is home to so many sculptures and other art pieces.

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13. The Phillies ? Philadelphia?s major league baseball team was almost renamed. In the 1940s the owner tried to rename the team to the Philadelphia Blue Jays. Clearly, the name never stuck, plus who could replace the Philly Phanatic?

14. The first newspaper ? The Philadelphia Packet and Daily Adviser was the first daily newspaper from 1784 until 1790. It might have only run for six years, but it is still a major part of the journalistic history of Philadelphia.

15. The Philadelphia Inquirer ? The Inquirer is the third oldest daily newspaper still being published. Established in 1829, it is behind The New Hampshire Gazette in 1756, and The Connecticut Courant (currently The Hartford Courant) in 1764.

16. City Hall ? Philadelphia?s City Hall is the largest municipal building in the country. It was also the tallest building in the country until 1908.

17. Children?s Hospital of Philadelphia ? Philadelphia is always pushing the boundaries in the medical field, its no wonder CHOP was the first kids only hospital. It continues to run today and is one of the most advanced children?s hospitals in the country.

18. Fox Chase Caner Center ? The Cancer Center was first cancer hospital in America. Philadelphia is continuously researching cancer and treating hundreds of patients daily.

19. Advancements in the medical field ? One in every six doctors gets medical training in Philly. Most hospitals and medical clinics in the Philadelphia area are technologically advanced thanks to the research being done in the city.

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20. The Academy of Music ? The first musical auditorium still in use for its original purpose is located in Philadelphia. The Academy continues to serve the city with music and art.

21. Hosted first organized protest against slavery ? Called the Germantown Quaker Petition Against Slavery, it was the first organized protest against slavery in America. Guess where it took place? Philadelphia.

22. First African American church ? Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church was the first church for African American people. The church was established in 1787 and continues to run today.

23. Cheesesteaks ? Surprisingly, cheese wasn’t originally part of Pat and Harry Oliveri?s original recipe for cheesesteaks. It was added later on by a manager of Pat?s restaurant.

24. Bartram?s Garden ? The garden is the oldest botanical garden in North America. The garden is 45 acres of land and is a National Historic Landmark.

25. First Thanksgiving Parade ? Philadelphia is home to the first Thanksgiving Day Parade. This year marks the 97th anniversary of the Thanksgiving Day Parade that was founded in 1920.

26. Nicknames ? Philly, The City of Brotherly Love, The Birthplace of America, The City that Loves you Back, The City of Neighborhoods, The Quaker City, and The Cradle of Liberty are all acceptable names for Philadelphia.

27. Philadelphia maneto ? Philadelphia?s city motto is ?Philadelphia maneto? meaning, let brotherly love endure.

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28. Naval Ships ? Philadelphia?s Naval Yard is the first naval ship yard in America. It?s ports are still used today.

29. Religious Freedom ? Philadelphia is the first city to guarantee religious freedom to immigrants. This allowed anyone who settled in Philadelphia the freedom to practice whatever religion they wanted from their country of origin.

30. First piano ? The first American piano was built and kept in Philadelphia. It was created in 1775 by John Behrent.

31. The Highs ? The highest point of Philadelphia is in Chestnut Hill at the intersection of Bethlehem Pike and Germantown Avenue at 445 feet above sea level.

32. The Lows ? While the highest point is 445 feet above sea level, the lowest point is only ten feet above sea level. That’s still over a 400 foot difference in altitude.

33. Stocks ? The first stock exchange in America was located in Philadelphia.

34. Mutter Museum ? One of the most fascinating places in Philadelphia, the museum holds some crazy medical and scientific discoveries. One of the most popular displays is of Einstein?s brain slides.

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35. State House Bell ? The Liberty Bell was originally called the State House Bell. The bell was originally located in the Pennsylvania State House that was later renamed to Independence Hall. When Independence Hall was renamed so was the bell.

36. Moon Trees ? One of the seeds that went to the moon and back on Apollo 14 is planted in Washington Square Park. It was planted ceremoniously for America?s founding Bicentennial.

37. The Liberty Bell ? The famous cracked bell still lives in Philly. If the Liberty Bell rang it would be in E-flat.

38. The Bell (continued) ? On the bell Pennsylvania is spelled with only one ?n?. When the bell was created this was an acceptable form of spelling Pennsylvania.

39. Elfreth?s Alley ? This 32-house street is the oldest inhabited street in the nation. It is currently home to many Philadelphian families.

40. The Mummer?s Parade ? The parade has welcomed the New Year since 2001 with its colorful dancers, musicians, and marchers. The Mummer?s Parade is broadcast on TV every January 1.

41. Frightening Philly ? Philadelphia is said to be the most haunted city in the U.S. with the highest density of haunted houses. It is also home to Eastern State Penatenary that opens for spooky tours during the Halloween season.

42. Walnut Street Theatre ? The theatre is the oldest currently running theatre in the English speaking world. Most people believe it is in London, but it is actually right here in Philadelphia.

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43. American Bandstand ? Dick Clark?s American Bandstand premiered on ABC from Philadelphia before moving to Los Angeles. It became a very important part of American pop culture.

44. ?Center? City ? 25% of the US population lives within 5 hours of Philadelphia. Many east coast cities are less than 5 hours from Philadelphia with Washington, D.C. and New York City being the closest major cities which are both within the 5 hour radius.

45. Republican National Convention ? Philadelphia hosted the first Republican National Convention in 1856. This convention was to organize the freedom of all slaves.

46. Fairmount Park ? Fairmount is the country?s largest park system in the U.S.

47. There is a lesser known Philly sandwich ? Locals enjoy roast pork with broccoli rabe and provolone in addition to the more famous cheesesteak.

48. The U.S. Citizen Test ? Most of the answers of the 100 question test to become a U.S. citizen can be found in Philly. Since Philadelphia is home to most of American history, a lot of the answers can be found in the city.

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49. Reading Terminal Market ? The market is the longest running farmer?s market in the nation. Vendors sell everything from fish, to vegetables, chocolate, flowers, and cheese. The Terminal Market is indoors and open all year round.

50. Home of the first soft pretzel ? Dutch settlers introduced the soft pretzel in the 18th century. Typically they are served with mustard, but in today?s culture people are much more creative with what they dip the famous snack in.

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