Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pennsylvania - #2, December 12, 1787

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (the first of four Commonwealths in the United States state list - any guesses of the other three before we get there?) became the second state to become part of the United States just five days after Delaware. Pennsylvania is the only one of the original thirteen colonies that does not border the Atlantic Ocean.

While the capital of the state, Harrisburg, is located near the center of the state, its two largest cities are found on the eastern and western borders, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, respectively. Philadelphia, of course, holds a special place in the history of the nation, as the Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and waged the American Revolution and signed the Declaration of Independence. Pittsburgh also holds a spot in history as KDKA became the world's first radio station, when it started broadcasting in 1920.

I have traveled all across Pennsylvania - having attended several professional meetings across the state (most recently I was in Bethlehem). I also have a number of friends in the state, including Ed in Pittsburgh, Anna (Mrs. BA's best pal), J in PA and Special K, PCW, and several others. PCW, of course, has one of the sweetest jobs in the world, literally. She works here.

Of the many colleges and universities in Pennsylvania, Dickinson College, J in PA's employer holds the distinction of being the first college founded in the United States (after independence). My two older siblings also went to college in the Keystone State, at LaSalle University. Mrs. BA also went to college in Pennsylvania.

The current governor of Pennsylvania is Tom Corbett, a Republican. The Senators for the state are split, one Republican, Patrick Toomey, and one Democrat, Robert Casey, Jr. The House delegation is currently split 12-7, in favor of the Republicans.

Prominent Pennsylvanians (again, subjective and my own opinion - one list found here and here's another)

  • Pennsylvania has produced only one President of the United States, and the only bachelor President, James Buchanan.
  • Louisa May Alcott
  • Kevin Bacon
  • The Barrymores
  • Joe Biden gets to be on this list, too. He was born in Scranton.
  • Daniel Boone (although I would always place him with the Lone Star State, when we get there)
  • Alexander Calder
  • Adrian Cronauer (I was watching this movie when preparing this post)
  • Bill Cosby
  • Ann B. Davis
  • W.C. Fields
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Robert Fulton (as with Boone, I would associate him with another state more - New York)
  • Milton Hershey
  • Reggie Jackson (see above)
  • Gene Kelly
  • Mario Lanza (wait he's not a native Italian?)
  • Benjamin Netanyahu (yes, the current PM of Israel)
  • Arnold Palmer
  • William Penn
  • Jimmy Stewart
  • Andrew Wyeth


Unknown said...

Massachusetts and Virginia are 2 of the 3. (Had to look up the 3rd.)

Not enough women on either list.

Let's add: Rachel Carson, Mary Cassatt, Martha Graham, Margaret Mead, Betsy Ross, and Gertrude Stein.

Anna van Schurman said...

Yeah. Massachusetts and Virginia I knew right away. Is the third Kentucky? Goes to check...

Brave Astronaut said...

C and Anna - yes the Bluegrass State always gets forgotten.

And so noted, I will seek more women.

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for sharing this. One of my friends is researching on some colleges in PA and it is good to know these facts about the state since he's never been to PA before. I'm going to send this along to him.