Historical Philly

Historical Philadelphia - History of Philadelphia

Philadelphia History – Exploring Awesomeness

The History of Philadelphia has so much to offer and is a large part of who we are today. History states that Philadelphia was first founded by William Penn on October 27th, 1682. But prior to Penn, it’s been said that Philadelphia was home of the Lenape Indians.  Penn bought the land from the local Lenape Nation to be on good terms with the Native Americans and to ensure peace for his colony. Penn then named the city Philadelphia, which is Greek for brotherly love, hence the reason why Philadelphia is known as the “City of Brotherly Love”.

During the American Revolutionary War, Philadelphia became the site of the First and Second Continental Congresses. Since Philadelphia was an important aspect early on in America’s existence, and after the federal and state governments left Philadelphia, the city remained the cultural and financial center of the country. Philadelphia became one of the first U.S. industrial centers, with a variety of industries, the largest being textiles.

The History of Philadelphia is rich in first events in this country.  Such events as :

  • 1682 – First brick house erected in this country (Penn’s house).
  • 1698 – February 12th – The first public school in the America Colonies was established at Philadelphia.
  • 1719 – First fire engine bought by any municipality for public purposes.
  • 1732 – The Philadelphia Hospital, the oldest in America, was established in connection with the Philadelphia Almshouse.
  • 1773 – The American Medical Society was founded in this city by students who came from different parts of the Union to attend the medical lectures.
  • 1777 – The first United States flag on record, was made here on Arch Street, by Elizabeth Ross, known as Betsy Ross.
  • 1781 – May 26th – The Bank of North America was established and opened for business in 1783, as the first corporate banking institution established in the United States.
  • 1790 – The oldest law school in America was founded, the Law School of the University of Pennsylvania.
  • 1790 – Opening of the first Stock Exchange in America.
  • 1805 – The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the pioneer of all art institutions in this country, was founded in 1805, and chartered March 28 of the following year.
  • 1809 – The first experimental railroad track was laid in the United States for Thomas Leiper of Philadelphia, and laid down in a yard adjoining the Bull’s Head Tavern, in the Northern Liberties.
  • 1830 – First successful women’s magazine, Godey’s Lady’s Book, Louis A. Godey, Sixth Street, above Chestnut.
  • 1835 – First gas pipes in this country was laid in compliance with an ordinance passed by the two City Chambers.

More Philadelphia Firsts from 1681 – 1899 : History of Philadelphia Firsts  (Around 100 firsts)

History of Philadelphia Summary

The City of Philadelphia is a unique and diverse city with many cultures and ethnicity groups.  The City of Philadelphia is best known for such things as the Declaration of Independence, the Liberty Bell, the cheesesteak aka the Philly cheesesteak, the soft pretzel, and Betsy Ross, who was believed to have made the first American Flag.  Philadelphia is also known for its art and culture, which has more outdoor sculptures and murals than any other American city.  And Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park is the largest landscaped urban park in the world.  The city is also known for its passionate sports fans, who are some of the best traveled fans of all sports to see their teams play outside of Philadelphia.

Related Articles About the History of Philadelphia & Related Articles About Historic Sites in Philadelphia


Jeff Belonger

Jeff Belonger has been in the mortgage industry for 19+ years and now wants to do something different. With his experience of blogging and social media, Jeff wants to share all of what Philadelphia has to offer, so he created MyPhillyAlive.com. At MyPhillyAlive, we want to share the excitement that the City of Philadelphia resonates. Sharing the passion within, from the people of Philadelphia. At MyPhillyAlive, we’ll be talking about Philadelphia restaurants, fun bars, the city night life, the history of Philadelphia, Philly attractions & events, the arts, sports, and much more. We want people to add their experiences regarding Philadelphia, even if they are from out of town, which can be done on our Facebook fan page as well. www.facebook.com/MyPhillyAlive At the end of the day, we want to be different from the many Philadelphia sites. We want our site to be easy to navigate, while at the same time, we want you to not only find the hot spots, the best things to do in Philadelphia; but those hidden gems within the city. Thanks...

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