Pennsylvania was one of the 13 original colonies and the people of Pennsylvania, especially Philadelphia, played a major role in the Revolution and the founding of our country’s documents.
Pennsylvania became a state on December 12, 1787 and was the 2nd state to ratify the new Constitution. It has an area of about 44,817 square miles and a population of 12.4 million people - making it the 6th most populous state in the Union.
In the sweltering heat of the summer of 1787 a group of men gathered in Philadelphia at the State House to draft one of the greatest documents ever written. They were attending the Constitutional Convention with the sole purpose of united the various colonies under one document. To in fact, Unite the States, thus creating a new country. After much deliberation, prayer, and faith - the final version was accepted and signed on September 17, 1787. A new united nation was born.
Pennsylvania is also the home to a large Amish population. The Amish are descended from German and Swedish immigrants that came to the New World in the late 16 and 1700's. They prefer to live a simpler life without many of our modern conveniences. One of the large Amish populations in Pennsylvania is located in Lancaster County - which is just west of Philadelphia.
Another famous city is Gettysburg. The Battle of Gettysburg was one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War and about 7000 American soldiers lost their lives. President gave his famous Gettysburg Address on part of the battle field which was dedicated as a cemetery.
The capital city is Harrisburg, but the most famous cities are probably Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. The state was named after William Penn, the founder of the colony who was known as a friend of the Indian. Penn was born in London in 1644 and attended Oxford as a young man. While there he heard about the teaching of the Quakers and was profoundly changed. The Quakers were persecuted for years and Penn even went to prison over his faith. In 1670 his father died leaving him a fortune and a debt from the king. To pay off his debt, King Charles gave Penn a charter of land which would become Pennsylvania - the name means Penn's Wood.
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