66 Interesting Facts About Pennsylvania

Last updated on June 19th, 2020

42. The first transplant of human brain cells – called neurons – was done on 23 June, 1998 on a 62 years old stroke patient at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The patient suffered paralysis of her right arm and leg. She also lost most of her speech. The researchers hoped that the transplanted neurons will grow and replace the damaged neurons in the woman’s brain.[17]

43. The world’s largest unboxing happened in Pennsylvania when a 3 year old kid was invited by Volvo Trucks to unbox their new model Volvo VNL.[18]

44. The U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is the first federal building erected under the Constitution. Philadelphia was selected for the site because, when construction began in 1792, it was the nation’s capital.[19]

45. The Philadelphia Mint is the oldest coin producer in the U.S. The life expectancy of a circulating coin is 30 years, while paper money usually only lasts for 18 months. In 2018, production facilities in Philadelphia and Denver shipped over 13.1 billion coins to Federal Reserve Banks.[22,23]

46. Pennsylvania has the highest concentration of Amish (known for simple living, plain dress, and reluctance to adopt many conveniences of modern technology) in the U.S.[20]

47. Caused by a series of system malfunctions and human errors, the worst nuclear accident in United States history occurred on March 28, 1979, on Three Mile Island near Harrisburg. Fortunately, the health effects of the Three Mile Island accident are widely, but not universally, agreed to be very low level.[21]

48. Founded in 1751 by Dr. Thomas Bond and Benjamin Franklin, Pennsylvania Hospital is one of the nation’s oldest public hospitals. The hospital is also home to America’s first surgical amphitheater and its first medical library.[28,29]

Boulder Field in Ringing Rocks County Park, Pennsylvania, United States of America.
Facts about Pennsylvania: Boulder Field in Ringing Rocks County Park, Pennsylvania, United States of America.

49. If you are looking for some fun and magic, visit the Ringing Rock Park in Bucks County. Here you can make the rocks ring by striking them with a hammer.[31]

Facts about Philadelphia

50. Philadelphia is the sixth most populous city in the U.S.

51. Philadelphia is home to five Fortune 1000 companies.

52. Established in 1937, Philadelphia Housing Authority is the largest landlord in Philadelphia. It is also the nation’s fourth-largest housing authority.

53. The Comcast Technology Center is the tallest building in Philadelphia and the tenth-tallest in the United States. It was opened to the public in October 2018.

Row houses in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania facts: Row houses in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Image credit – Eli Pousson

54. The first terraced row houses in the United States were developed in Philadelphia. The oldest row in America, named after its designer Thomas Carstair, can still be found on Sansom Street. Row houses became a popular choice among home buyers at the time. In the early days, after this concept caught up with the general public, regardless of where the row houses were built, they were called “Philadelphia Row Houses.” If you are someone who lives in a row house, now you know the origin of the concept!

55. Philadelphia is named America’s First World Heritage City.

56. If you are a bicycle enthusiast, you would be glad to know that Philadelphia has 426 miles of bicycle lanes, the most per square mile of any U.S. city. Using bicycles for day to day commute or other purposes keeps you and the environment healthy. Scores of studies have pointed out the benefits of using bicycles including for cardiovascular health, bone strength, stress management and improved joint mobility etc.

57. If you are in Philadelphia, you are within two-hour flight time from 60% of the population of the United States.

58. Did you know that the first organized protest against slavery in the Americas was written in 1688 by four Pennsylvania Quakers from Germantown Meeting? The document argued against such inhuman treatment and stressed upon the importance of treating all men alike irrespective of the color of their skin or religion.

59. Philadelphia was one of the first cities to guarantee religious freedom to all its immigrants.

60. First held in 1920, the Philadelphia Thanksgiving day Parade is the oldest Thanksgiving Day Parade in America.

Facts about Harrisburg

61. Harrisburg is the ninth most populous city in the state. Philadelphia was removed as the state capital in 1799 because it served as the seat of both the state and federal government and it seemed crowded and confusing for the authorities and the public as well.

62. Before Harrisburg became the capital of Pennsylvania, Lancaster was the state’s capital for over a decade (1799 – 1812). The choice of Harrisburg as the state’s capital became obvious because of the fact that the city was more centrally located, had access to a river; and the four acres of land donated by John Harris Jr. was another point of attraction for the powers to make the move. Being centrally located it provided easy access from all areas of the state when no transportation measures such as cars and airplanes were available.

63. In 2010, Forbes rated Harrisburg as the second best city in the U.S. to raise a family. 

64. Despite having a small population, the city because of its high concentration of state and federal government agencies, enjoys financial stability.

Rockville Bridge, Pennsylvania. facts about PA.
The Rockville Bridge in the background. Image credit – David Wilson

65. The Rockville Bridge in Harrisburg, PA, is the longest stone masonry arch railroad bridge in the world. In 1900, at a cost of almost a million dollars, the bridge took two years to build. The mighty bridge has forty-eight 70-foot spans and the bridge runs a distance of 1,160 m.

66. Harrisburg, PA is also home to the National Civil War Museum. The museum has a collection of manuscripts, documents, photographs, artifacts, and other printed matter that exceeds more than 24,000 items. A visit to the museum would give you the best understanding of the Civil War, its effect on the people and the nation.

Pennsylvania State – Quick facts, State symbols

State AbbreviationPA
State CapitalHarrisburg
State SizeTotal (Land + Water): 46,055 sq miles; Land Only: 44,817 sq miles
Population
12,807,060
(Estimate July 1, 2018 from United States Census Bureau)
StatehoodDecember 12, 1787
State rank by population5th
State rank by date of formation2nd
State rank by area33rd
Number of Counties67
Complete list of 50 states and number of counties in each
DemonymPennsylvanian
Bordering StatesDelaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, West Virginia
Official LanguageNone
Highest PointMount Davis
3,213 ft (979 m)
Lowest pointDelaware River at Delaware border
Sea level
Mean elevation1,100 feet above sea level
Length280 miles (455 km)
Width160 miles (255 km)
GovernorTom Wolf (D)
Lieutenant GovernorJohn Fetterman (D)
Electoral Votes20
State MottoVirtue, Liberty, and Independence
State NicknameKeystone State
% Water2.7
Nobel Prize WinnersBarry Sharpless (Chemistry, 2001)
Gary Becker (Economic Sciences, 1992)
Joseph H. Taylor Jr. (Physics, 1993)
Clifford G. Shull (Physics, 1994)
Edward B. Lewis (Physiology or Medicine, 1995)
William D. Phillips (Physics, 1997)
Keffer Hartline (Physiology or Medicine, 1967)
Christian Anfinsen (Chemistry, 1972)
Howard M. Temin (Physiology or Medicine, 1975)
William A. Fowler (Physics, 1983)
Famous PeopleJason Taylor (Pro Football Player)
Ken Griffey Jr. (Baseball Player)
Zack Clayton (Basketball Player)
Hobey Baker (Hockey Player)
Will Smith (Actor)
Taylor Swift (Singer)
U.S. President Born in Pennsylvania1. James Buchanan.
Song"Pennsylvania"
State AnimalWhite-tailed deer
PlantPenngift Crownvetch
FossilPhacops rana
DogGreat Dane
State InsectPennsylvania firefly
State FishBrook trout
State FlowerMountain laurel
State Game BirdRuffed grouse
State AircraftPiper J-3 Cub
Electric locomotiveGG1 4859
State TreeHemlock
ShipUS Brig Niagara
Longitude74° 41′ to 80° 31′ W
Latitude39° 43′ to 42° 16′ N
Time ZoneEastern Time Zone
Websitewww.pa.gov
Area Codes215, 267, 272, 412, 445, 484, 570, 582, 610, 717, 724, 814, 835, 878
Table Last Upate8 June, 2020