Tags: US State Facts | Pennsylvania History | The Battle of Gettysburg | The Liberty Bell

Pennsylvania History: 8 Events That Shaped the State

Image: Pennsylvania History: 8 Events That Shaped the State
Declaration of Independence. (Frederick Girsch at the American Bank Note Company, for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing via wikimedia/commons)

By    |   Monday, 09 Mar 2015 10:52 AM

The rich Pennsylvania history starts from the beginning of the nation's formation. Involved in the struggles of Revolutionary America, Pennsylvania has also been a leader in manufacturing, chemical and food production, and farming.

Here are eight events that helped shape the state of Pennsylvania:

1. Philadelphia was the site where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776 and the U.S. Constitution was written in 1787. According to History.com, it was the nation's capital from 1790 until Washington, D.C., was established in 1800.

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2. The Liberty Bell, a symbol of freedom during the Revolutionary War, was whisked away from the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia when approaching British forces were near in 1777. Cavalrymen feared the British would melt it down for ammunition. The bell was hidden in the basement of a church in Allentown until the British left a year later, says History.com. The bell is now located at Independence National Historic Park.

3. Pennsylvania, one of the original 13 colonies, adopted the first state law to abolish slavery in 1780. After ratifying the U.S. Constitution, Pennsylvania designed a new state constitution modeled after the federal one in 1790.

4. The Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863 was a turning point in the Civil War for Union forces led by Gen. George Meade, defeating the Confederate forces under General Robert E. Lee, who led a retreat to Virginia. President Lincoln’s historic Gettysburg Address soon followed the battle.

5. The first official World Series for Major League Baseball was played at Exposition Park in Pittsburgh in 1903. The Boston Americans beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, five games to three.

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6. Jonas Salk developed the first polio vaccine at the University of Pittsburgh in 1952. The vaccine became available nationwide a few years later, reducing the cases of polio by more than 20,000 a year between 1955 and 1957 and saving generations of people from the dreaded viral disease.

7. The partially melting of the nuclear reactor at Three Mile Island near Harrisburg caused the worst nuclear accident in U.S. history in 1979. Thousands of residents were evacuated or fled the area from fear of radiation. The accident resulted from a combination of system malfunctions and human errors.

8. Some 40 passengers and crew aboard Flight 93 thwarted an attack on the U.S. Capitol by terrorists on September 11, 2001. The commercial airliner, among four hijacked that day, crashed into a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. The passengers, crew and terrorists died. A national memorial to those who died valiantly now stands at the site for that heroic moment in Pennsylvania history.

URGENT: Do You Approve of the Job Tom Wolf Is Doing as Pennsylvania Governor?

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The rich Pennsylvania history starts from the beginning of the nation's formation. Involved in the struggles of Revolutionary America, Pennsylvania has also been a leader in manufacturing, chemical and food production, and farming.
Pennsylvania History, The Battle of Gettysburg, The Liberty Bell
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2015-52-09
Monday, 09 Mar 2015 10:52 AM
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