Important Timeline Events

330Mil BC
The body impressions of salamander-like creatures, estimated to be 330 million years old, were later found in sandstone rocks collected in eastern Pennsylvania and stored in the museum in Reading, Pa.(AP, 10/30/07)

The French explorer Etienne Brule is believed to be the first European to see the Great Lakes. Brule, believed to have been born in 1592, journeyed to North America with Samuel de Champlain in 1608 and helped found Quebec. Brule explored Lake Huron in 1612 and is believed to have also explored Lakes Ontario, Erie and Superior after 1615. Brule is the first European to live among the Indians and was probably the first European to set foot in what is now Pennsylvania. Brule was eventually killed by the Hurons, for reasons never known, in 1632. (HNQ, 6/29/98)

Oct 14, William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, or Penn's Woods, was born. (HN, 10/14/98)

Mar 4, England's King Charles II granted a charter to William Penn (37) for 48,000 square miles that later became Pennsylvania. Penn�s father had bequeathed him a claim of �15,000 against the king. Penn later laid out the city of Philadelphia as a gridiron about 2 miles long, east to west, and a mile wide.(PCh, 1992, p.259)(AP, 3/4/98)(SFEC, 8/16/98, p.T1)

Mar 10, English Quaker William Penn received a charter from Charles II, making him sole proprietor of colonial American territory of Pennsylvania. [see Mar 4](MC, 3/10/02)

Oct 26, William Penn accepted the area around the Delaware River from Duke of York.(MC, 10/26/01)

Oct 29, The founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn, landed at what is now Chester, Pa. William Penn founded Philadelphia. Penn founded Pennsylvania as a "Holy Experiment" based on Quaker principles.(AP, 10/29/97)(SFEC, 6/21/98, Z1 p.8)(SSFC, 8/5/01, p.C10)

Jun 23, William Penn signed a friendship treaty with Lenni Lenape Indians in Pennsylvania. It became the only treaty "not sworn to, nor broken." (HN, 6/23/98)(MC, 6/23/02)

Oct 6, 13 Mennonite families from Krefeld, Germany, arrived in present-day Philadelphia to begin Germantown, one of America's oldest settlements. They were encouraged by William Penn's offer of 5,000 acres of land in the colony of Pennsylvania and the freedom to practice their religion.(AP, 10/6/97)(

The Lenape Indians allegedly sold land along the Lehigh River to William Penn.(ON, 1/03, p.6)

Feb 18, At a Quaker meeting in Germantown, Pa, German Mennonites penned a memorandum stating a profound opposition to Negro slavery. Quakers in Germantown, Pa., adopted the fist formal antislavery resolution in America.(HN, 2/18/99)(

Mar 18, William Penn was deprived of his governing powers.(HN, 3/18/98)

Jonathan Dickinson, after resuming his mercantile business in Philadelphia, authored "God�s Protecting Providence," a journal of his Florida ordeal.(ON, 9/00, p.5)

May 7, William Penn began monthly meetings for Blacks advocating emancipation.(MC, 5/7/02)

Oct 28, William Penn presented a Charter of Privileges for the Province of Pennsylvania during his 2nd and last visit to the colony. Among its provisions was one establishing total religious freedom and tolerance to those who wanted to live in peace in the colony. It remained as Pennsylvania's constitution until the outbreak of the American Revolution (1775-1783).(

Jun 7, The Pennsylvania Assembly banned the importation of slaves.(HN, 6/7/98)

Jul 30, William Penn, English Quaker, colonizer (No cross, no crown), died.(MC, 7/30/02)

The Ephrata Cloister communal society in Amish country near Philadelphia was founded by a former elder of the German Dunkers (German Baptists who later became the Church of the Brethren). (Hem, 6/96, p.107)(

Jul 23, Benjamin Franklin set sail back to Philadelphia.(MC, 7/23/02)

Oct 11, Benjamin Franklin returned to Philadelphia from England. (MC, 10/11/01)

Nov 8, Benjamin Franklin opened the 1st US library. The first circulating library in America, the Library Company of Philadelphia, was founded by Benjamin Franklin.(HNQ, 5/20/98)(MC, 11/8/01)

Feb 26, The 1st mass celebrated in American Catholic church was at St Joseph's Church, Philadelphia.(SC, 2/26/02)

Nov 14, 1st US professional librarian, Louis Timothee, was hired in Phila.(MC, 11/14/01)

The Pennsylvania city of Reading became one of America's first producers of iron and was for nearly a century the foremost in the country. Settled in 1733 by the sons of William Penn, the city is situated on the Schuylkill River in the southeastern part of the state. The Reading foundries furnished cannon for the American forces in the Revolutionary War and the Union during the Civil War. (HNQ, 5/6/98)

Feb 13, Andrew Bradford of Pennsylvania published the first American magazine. Titled "The American Magazine, or A Monthly View of the Political State of the British Colonies." Bradford introduced his American Magazine just days before Benjamin Franklin founded his periodical called General Magazine in Philadelphia. Bradford�s survived 3 months while Franklin�s survived for 6 months. (HFA, '96, p.24)(HNQ, 9/3/98)(AP, 2/13/01)

Feb 16, Benjamin Franklin's General Magazine (2nd US Mag) began publishing.(MC, 2/16/02)

Dec 24, Benjamin Rush, American medical pioneer and signer of the Declaration of Independence, was born in Byberry, Pa. (HN, 12/24/98)(MC, 12/24/01)

Benjamin Franklin sent up a kite during a thunderstorm and established that lightning is a form of electricity. (V.D.-H.K.p.269)

May 11, The 1st US hospital was founded in Pennsylvania. [see Feb 11, 1752] MC, 5/11/02)

Feb 11, Pennsylvania Hospital, the 1st hospital in the US, opened.(MC, 2/11/02)

May 10, Benjamin Franklin 1st tested his lightning rod. [see Jun 15](MC, 5/10/02)

May 11, The 1st US fire insurance policy issued in Philadelphia.(MC, 5/11/02)

Jun 10, Ben Franklin's kite was struck by lightning. [see May 10, Jun 15](MC, 6/10/02)

Jun 15, Benjamin Franklin and his son tested the relationship between electricity and lightning by flying a kite in a thunder storm. [see May 10](HN, 6/15/01)

Sep 1, The Liberty Bell arrived in Philadelphia.(MC, 9/1/02)

In the summer of this year Benjamin Franklin installed the world�s 1st lightning rods at the Pennsylvania State House.(WSJ, 8/15/05, p.D8)

Dec 12, George Washington, the adjutant of Virginia, delivered an ultimatum to the French forces at Fort Le Boeuf, south of Lake Erie, reiterating Britain�s claim to the entire Ohio river valley.(HN, 12/12/98)

Dec 14, French Captain Jacques Le Gardeur rejected the pretensions of the English to ownership of the Ohio Valley, but promised to forward Virginia Gov. Dinwiddie�s letter of trespass to his superiors in Canada.(ON, 9/05, p.2)

Benjamin Franklin use the pages of his Poor Richard�s Almanac to make a case for using lightning rods atop tall structures making storms less dangerous.(WSJ, 8/15/05, p.D8)

Jan 6, Major George Washington, while returning to Virginia, encountered a party of English settlers and militiamen at Will�s Creek sent by Gov. Dinwiddie to establish a fort and trading post at the Forks of the Ohio. (ON, 9/05, p.2)

Apr 2, A small expeditionary force of 159 men under Lt. Col. George Washington arrived at Will�s Creek and learned that the French had taken over the new Fort Prince George at the Forks of the Ohio from British soldiers and frontiersmen and renamed it Fort Duquesne. (ON, 9/05, p.2)

May 9, The first American newspaper cartoon was published. The illustration in Benjamin Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette showed a snake cut into sections, each part representing an American colony; the caption read, "Join or die." (AP, 5/9/97)(HN, 5/9/98)

May 28, Col. George Washington led a 40-man detachment that defeated French and Indian forces in a skirmish near Great Meadows, Pa.(ON, 9/05, p.3)

Jul 3, George Washington surrendered the small, circular Fort Necessity in southwestern Pennsylvania to the French, leaving them in control of the Ohio Valley. This marked the beginning of the French and Indian War also called the 7 Years' War. In 2005 Fred Anderson authored �The War That Made America: A Short History of the French and Indian War.� (HN, 7/13/98)(Arch, 1/05, p.46)(WSJ, 12/14/05, p.D15)

Jul 9, General Edward Braddock was mortally wounded when French and Indian troops ambushed his force of British regulars and colonial militia, which was on its way to attack France's Fort Duquesne (Pittsburgh). Gen. Braddock's troops were decimated at Fort Duquesne, where he refused to accept Washington's advice on frontier style fighting. British Gen'l. Braddock gave his bloody sash to George Washington at Fort Necessity just before he died on Jul 13. (A & IP, ESM, p.11)(HN, 7/9/98)(WSJ, 1/5/98, p.A20)

Jul 13, Edward Braddock (60), British general, died following the July 9, 1755 battle at Fort Duquesne (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania). Out of the 1,400 British soldiers who were in involved in the battle, 900 of them died. Future President George Washington carried Braddock from the field and officiated at his burial ceremony. The general was buried in a road his men had built. The army then marched over the grave to obliterate any traces of it and continued to eastern Pennsylvania. After the French and Indian War (1754-1763), the Braddock Road remained a main road. In 1804, some workmen discovered human remains in the road near where Braddock was supposed to have been buried. The remains were re-interred on a small knoll adjacent to the road. In 1913 the marker was placed there. Braddock was born in Perthshire, Scotland, about 1695, the son of Major-General Edward Braddock (died 1725). (

Benjamin Franklin, a patriot of the American Revolution, served as a colonel of the Pennsylvania militia in the French and Indian War. Benjamin Franklin, at forty-nine, had already lived through two wars between the French and the English and their colonists. His face was puffy and smooth from gout, his once-powerful swimmer�s body overweight and rounded into a barrel shape.(HNQ, 8/6/01)

Jun 4, Quakers left the assembly of Pennsylvania. (MC, 6/4/02)

Nov 25, In the French and Indian War British forces under General John Forbes captured Fort Duquesne. George Washington participated in the campaign. Forbes renamed the site Fort Pitt after William Pitt the Elder, who directed British military policy in the Seven Years' War of 1756-'53. Before his arrival, the French had burned the fort and retreated. (AP, 11/25/97)(ON, 9/05, p.5)(HNQ, 7/17/98)

Feb 15, The 1st mustard manufactured in America was advertised in Philadelphia.(440 Int�l., 2/15/99)(HCB, 2003, p. 94)

French and Indians forces in the Ohio Valley were defeated.(ON, 1/03, p.7)

Aug 5, Colonel Henry Bouquet decisively defeated the Indians at the Battle of Bushy Run in Pennsylvania during Pontiac's rebellion. (HN, 8/5/98)

Nov 15, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon began surveying Mason-Dixon Line between Pennsylvania and Maryland. They surveyed 233 miles by 1767 when Indians of the Six nations told them they could not proceed any further west. (MC, 11/15/01)(ON, 2/04, p.10)

Oct 9, The survey party of Mason and Dixon came to a halt after 233 miles when Indians of the Six Nations said they had reached the end of their commission. [see Oct 18](ON, 2/04, p.10)

Oct 18, The boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania, the Mason-Dixon line, was agreed upon. It was first surveyed in 1763 to 1767 by two British astronomers, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, in order to settle a dispute between the Calvert and Penn families, the owners at that time of the two states in question. The survey, begun in 1763 and completed four years later, done by English surveyors Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon to resolve a land-grant boundary dispute between the families of Lord Baltimore and William Penn, resulted in the Mason-Dixon Line. The line, extended in 1784, came to be known as the dividing line between free-soil states and slave states., 10/18/97)(HNQ, 9/8/99)

Dec 26, Expulsion of tea ships from Philadelphia. (MC, 12/26/01)

1774 Sep 5, The first Continental Congress assembled in Philadelphia in a secret session in Carpenter's Hall with representatives from every colony except Georgia. Tensions had been tearing at relations between the colonists and the government of King George III. The British taking singular exception to the 1773 shipboard tea party held in Boston harbor. The dispute convinced Britain to pass the "Intolerable Acts"- 4 of which were to punish Mass. for the Boston Tea Party. Peyton Randolph of Williamsburg, Va., chaired the 1st Continental Congress. (AP, 9/5/97)(HNQ, 6/25/00)(AH, 10/04, p.14)

Oct 26, The first Continental Congress, which protested British measures and called for civil disobedience, concluded in Philadelphia. The Congress had met at the Philadelphia Carpenter's Hall. (AP, 10/26/97)(HN, 10/26/98)(SFEC, 2/20/00, Z1 p.2)

Apr 13, Lord North extended the New England Restraining Act to South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. The act forbade trade with any country other than Britain and Ireland. (HN, 4/13/99)

Apr 14, The first American society for the abolition of slavery was organized by Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush in Philadelphia. (AP, 4/14/97) (HN, 4/14/98)

May 10, The Second Continental Congress convened in Pennsylvania and named George Washington as supreme commander. (HN, 5/10/98)(MC, 5/10/02)

Jul 26, The Continental Congress established a postal system for the colonies with Benjamin Franklin as the first postmaster general in Philadelphia.(AP, 7/26/97)(HN, 7/26/98)

Jul 4, The Continental Congress approved adoption of the amended Declaration of Independence, prepared by Thomas Jefferson and signed by John Hancock--President of the Continental Congress--and Charles Thomson, Congress secretary, without dissent. However, the New York delegation abstained as directed by the New York Provisional Congress. On July 9, the New York Congress voted to endorse the declaration. On July 19, Congress then resolved to have the "Unanimous Declaration" inscribed on parchment for the signature of the delegates. Among the signers of the Declaration of Independence, two went on to become presidents of the United States, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. The Declaration of Independence was signed by president of Congress John Hancock and secretary Charles Thomson. John Hancock said, "There, I guess King George will be able to read that." referring to his signature on the Declaration of Independence. Other signers later included Benjamin Rush and Robert Morris. Of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, eight were born outside North America. In 2007 David Armitage authored �The Declaration of Independence: A Global History.�(HN, 7/4/98)(SFC,12/19/97,p.B6)(SFC,2/9/98, p.A19)(HNQ, 9/10/00)(WSJ, 1/4/07, p.B11)

Jul 5, The Declaration of Independence was first printed by John Dunlop in Philadelphia. 200 copies were prepared July 5-6 and distributed to the states. (HN, 7/5/98)(HNQ, 7/4/99)(SFC, 7/4/01, p.A3)

Jul 6, The US Declaration of Independence was announced on the front page of "PA Evening Gazette." (MC, 7/6/02)

Jul 8, Col. John Nixon gave the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence to a crowd gathered at Independence Square in Philadelphia. The reading was announced by the "Liberty Bell." The bell had the inscription: "proclaim liberty throughout all the land onto all the inhabitants thereof." (AP, 7/8/97)(SFEC, 8/16/98, p.T5)

Aug 2, In Philadelphia most members of the Continental Congress began attaching their signatures to the parchment copy of the Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Harrison was one of the signers. His son and grandson later became the 9th and 23rd presidents of the US. Most of the 55 signatures were affixed on August 2, but Matthew Thornton of New Hampshire, who was not a member of Congress when the declaration was adopted, added his name in November. (Civil., Jul-Aug., '95, p.61)(SFC, 5/7/96, p.A-6)(AP, 8/2/97)(HNQ, 7/4/99)

Nov 10, The US Marines were organized under authority of the Continental Congress. Congress commissioned Samuel Nicholas to raise two Battalions of Marines. That very day, Nicholas set up shop in Philadelphia�s Tun Tavern. He appointed Robert Mullan, then the proprietor of the tavern, to the job of chief Marine Recruiter serving, of course, from his place of business at Tun Tavern.(AP, 11/10/97)(

Dec 2, George Washington's army began retreating across the Delaware River from New Jersey to Pennsylvania. In 2004 David Hackett Fischer authored "Washington's Crossing." (WSJ, 2/6/04, p.W8)

Dec 8, George Washington's retreating army in the American Revolution crossed the Delaware River from New Jersey to Pennsylvania.(AP, 12/8/97)

Dec 25, Gen. George Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware River for a surprise attack against Hessian forces at Trenton, N.J. (AP, 12/25/97)

Jun 14, The Continental Congress in Philadelphia adopted the Stars and Stripes as the national flag. America's Flag Day, commemorates the date when John Adams spoke the following words before the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. "Resolved, that the Flag of the thirteen United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation." Over the years, there have been 27 versions of the American flag. The present version was adopted on July 4, 1960, when Hawaii became the 50th state. (AP, 6/14/97)(HNQ, 6/14/98)

Sep 11, General George Washington and his troops were defeated by the British under General Sir William Howe at the Battle of Brandywine in Pennsylvania. Posing as a gunsmith, British Sergeant John Howe served as General Gage's eyes in a restive Massachusetts colony. (HN, 9/11/98)

Sep 26, The British army launched a major offensive during the American Revolution, capturing Philadelphia. [see Sep 25] (HN, 9/26/99)(AP, 9/26/97)

Sep 27, At the Battle of Germantown the British defeated Washington's army. English General William Howe occupied Philadelphia. [see Sep 25,26] (MC, 9/27/01)

Sep 30, The Congress of the United States, forced to flee in the face of advancing British forces, moved to York, Pennsylvania. (AP, 9/30/00)

Oct 4, George Washington's troops launched an assault on the British at Germantown, Penn., resulting in heavy American casualties. British General Sir William Howe repelled Washington's last attempt to retake Philadelphia, compelling Washington to spend the winter at Valley Forge.(AP, 10/4/97)(HN, 10/4/98)

Nov 15, The Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation in York, Pa. These instituted the perpetual union of the United States of America and served as a precursor to the U.S. Constitution. The structure of the Constitution was inspired by the Iroquois Confederacy of six major northeastern tribes. The matrilineal society of the Iroquois later inspired the suffragist movement.(PCh, 1992, p.325)(AP, 11/15/97)(SFEC, 4/19/98, BR p.2)(HN, 11/15/98)

Dec 2, British officers under Gen. Howe met in the Philadelphia home of Lydia Darragh to discuss plans to the attack American forces on December 5, just prior to Gen. Washington�s planned move to Valley Forge. Mrs. Darragh listened in on the plans and sent word to Whitemarsh of the impending attack.(ON, 8/07, p.8)

Dec 5, A British advance column met unexpected resistance at Germantown, Penn. Gen. Howe refrained from a direct attack on Whitemarsh, where Gen. Wasinington was based, and the battle dissolved in a series of inconclusive skirmishes that lasted 3 days. The Americans lost 90 men killed or wounded and the British lost 60. (ON, 8/07, p.8)

Dec 8, Britain�s Gen. Howe withdrew to Philadelphia following a failed attempt on American forces encamped at Whitemarsh. (ON, 8/07, p.8)

Dec 19, Gen. George Washington led his army of about 11,000 men to Valley Forge, Pa., to camp for the winter. [see Dec 17] (AP, 12/19/97)

Some 2,000 American soldiers died at Washington�s Valley Forge encampment over a harsh weather period of 7 months.(WSJ, 1/3/02, p.A7)

Jun 18, American forces entered Philadelphia as the British withdrew during the Revolutionary War.(AP, 6/18/97)(HN, 6/18/98)

Jun 19, General George Washington�s troops finally left Valley Forge after a winter of training. Washington left to intercept the British force on its way to New York City. (HN, 6/19/98)(MC, 6/20/02)

Jun 27, The Liberty Bell came home to Philadelphia after the British left.(MC, 6/27/02)

Jun, George Washington appointed Benedict Arnold as military governor of Philadelphia. (ON, 11/01, p.1)

Jul 3, The Wyoming Massacre occurred during the American Revolution in the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania. As part of a British campaign against settlers in the frontier during the war, 360 American settlers, including women and children, were killed at an outpost called Wintermoot's Fort after they were drawn out of the protection of the fort and ambushed. (HNQ, 11/5/98)(MC, 7/3/02)

Sep 17, The 1st treaty between the US and Indian tribes was signed at Fort Pitt.(MC, 9/17/01)

May 23, Benedict Arnold, military governor of Philadelphia, wrote a query to the British asking what they would pay for his services. He had already begun trading with the British for personal profit and faced charges. (ON, 11/01, p.1)

Dec 25, A court-martial was convened against Benedict Arnold. He defended himself successfully on 6 of 8 charges but was convicted of illegally issuing a government pass and using government wagons to transport personal goods. (ON, 11/01, p.2)

Mar 1, Pennsylvania became the first U.S. state to abolish slavery (for new-borns only). It was followed by Connecticut and Rhode Island in 1784, New York in 1785, and New Jersey in 1786. Massachusetts abolished slavery through a judicial decision in 1783. [see Jul 2, 1777](HN, 3/1/98)(SC, 3/1/02)(HNQ, 5/29/02)

Apr, George Washington censured Benedict Arnold for his misdeeds as governor of Philadelphia. (ON, 11/01, p.2)

Jan 7, The 1st US commercial bank, Bank of North America, opened in Philadelphia.(MC, 1/7/02)

Jun 20, Congress approved the Great Seal of the United States and the eagle as its symbol. (AP, 6/20/97)(MC, 6/20/02)

May 30, The first American daily newspaper, The Pennsylvania Evening Post, began publishing in Philadelphia. (HN, 5/30/01)

May 25, The Constitutional Convention convened in Philadelphia after enough delegates showed up for a quorum. The Founding Fathers turned to the Rushworth's Collections of England for revolutionary precedents. George Washington presided. [see May 25, 1777] Rhode Island refused to send delegates. (AP, 5/25/97)(WSJ, 3/10/99, p.A22)(HN, 5/25/99)(Econ, 9/16/06, p.44)

Aug 6, The Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia began to debate the articles contained in a draft of the United States Constitution. (AP, 8/6/97)

Sep 17, The Constitution of the United States was completed and signed by a majority of delegates (12) attending the constitutional convention in Philadelphia. The US Constitution went into effect on Mar 4, 1789. Clause 3 of Article I, Section 8 empowered Congress to "regulate Commerce with foreign nations, among the several states, and with the Indian Tribes." Two of the signers went on to become presidents of the United States. George Washington, the president of the Constitutional Convention, and James Madison both signed the Constitution. The US Constitution is the world's oldest working Constitution. James Mason of Virginia refused to sign the document because he thought it made the federal government too powerful believed that it should contain a Bill of Rights. (HFA, '96, p.38)(AP, 9/17/97)(HN, 9/17/98)(WUD, 1994, p.314)(WSJ, 4/9/99, p.W17)(HNQ, 5/19/99)(WSJ, 3/31/06, p.A1)

Sep 17, The US Constitution included the Connecticut, or "Great," Compromise in which every state was conceded an equal vote in the Senate irrespective of its size, but representation in the House was to be on the basis of the "federal ratio," an enumeration of the free population plus three fifths of the slaves.(SSFC, 11/2/03, p.M6)

Sep 17, The "College of Electors" (electoral college) was established at the Constitutional Convention with representatives to be chosen by the states. Pierce Butler of South Carolina first proposed the electoral college system. [see Sep 13, 1788] (SFC, 11/9/00, p.A14)(WSJ, 11/9/00, p.A26)

Sep 17, The Electoral College, proposed by James Wilson, was the compromise that the Constitutional Convention reached. In 2004 George C. Edwards III authored �Why the Electoral College Is Bad for America.� (, 10/17/04, p.M3)

Dec 12, Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.(AP, 12/12/97)

Jan 1, Quakers in Pennsylvania emancipated their slaves.

Mar 2, Pennsylvania ended the prohibition of theatrical performances. (SC, 3/2/02)

Apr 17, Benjamin Franklin (born 1706), American statesman, died in Philadelphia at age 84. He mechanized the process of making sounds from tuned glass with his glass armonica. In 2000 H.W. Brands authored his Franklin biography: "The First American." In 2003 Walter Isaacson authored "Benjamin Franklin: An American Life." (AP, 4/17/97)(SFEC,12/28/97, DB p.17)(WSJ, 9/20/00, p.A24)(WSJ, 7/3/03, p.D8)

Dec 6, Congress moved from New York City to Philadelphia, where Washington served out his two terms. He is the only president who never resided in the White House. (AP, 12/6/97)(HNPD, 12/22/98)

Apr 23, James Buchanan, was born in Franklin County, Pa. He was the fifteenth U.S. president (1857-1861) and the only president not to marry. (AP, 4/23/97)(HN, 4/23/99)

1793 Jun 20, Eli Whitney petitioned for a cotton gin patent in Philadelphia. (

Aug 7, George Washington issued a proclamation telling a group of Western Pennsylvania farmers to stop their Whiskey Rebellion. (MC, 8/7/02) 1794
In the US in western Pennsylvania, angry farmers protested a new federal tax on whiskey makers. The protest flared into the open warfare known as the Whiskey Rebellion between US marshals and whiskey farmers. (A&IP, ESM, p.16)(HNQ, 10/14/99)

Feb 15, The 1st US printed ballots were authorized in Pennsylvania. (440 Int�l., 2/15/99)

Feb 6, Joseph Priestley (b.1733), English-born US theologist, philosopher and chemist, died in Pennsylvania. He figured out how to manufacture carbonated water and is sometimes called �the father of the soft-drink industry.�(, 10/05, p.1)

Feb 11, Anthracite coal was 1st burned as fuel, experimentally, in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. (MC, 2/11/02) 1816
Pittsburgh was incorporated on the site of old Fort Pitt.(SFC, 1/29/00, p.E3)

Philadelphia druggist Elie Magliore Durand first touted the effervescent soda water as a health drink. Shortly afterward, New York inventor John Matthews originated the fountain apparatus that conveniently rested on a pharmacist's counter to dispense carbonated drinks. (HNQ, 6/12/98)

Jul 4, Cornerstone laid for 1st US mint (Chestnut & Juniper St, Phila).(Maggio, 98)

Feb 19, The 1st practical US coal-burning locomotive made its 1st trial run in Penn. (MC, 2/19/02)

Jul 6, John Marshall, the third chief justice of the Supreme Court, died at the age of 79. Two days later, while tolling in his honor in Philadelphia, the Liberty Bell cracked. (HN, 7/6/98)

Jul 8, The US Liberty Bell in Philadelphia cracked while being tolled for Chief Justice John Marshall. It was never rung again. (HFA, �96, p.34)(HN, 7/6/98)(WSJ, 12/10/96, p.A20)

Dec 4, The Whig Party opened a national convention in Harrisburg, Pa., where delegates nominated William Henry Harrison for president. (AP, 12/4/99)

Feb 23, The Liberty Bell tolled for the last time, to mark George Washington's birthday. A hairline fracture had developed since 1817 and a failed attempt to repair it resulted in the crack.(HN, 2/23/98)(SFEC, 8/16/98, p.T5)

May 7, The American Medical Association was founded in Philadelphia. (AP, 5/7/97) (HN, 5/7/98)

Organic chemist Benjamin Stillman laid the foundations for the Pennsylvania oil rush by his discovery that petroleum could be distilled into lubricants and kerosene for cooking and illumination. Suddenly there was a use for the crude oil that seeped to the surface, annoying farmers by ruining the land and polluting the water supply. (HNPD, 10/4/98)

Jun 17, In Philadelphia, the Republican Party opened its first national convention. (AP, 6/17/97)(HN, 6/17/98)

Mar 30, Hyman L. Lipman of Philadelphia patented the pencil.(HN, 3/30/98)

Aug 27-28, The US oil business was born in Titusville, Pa. Former army officer Colonel Edwin L. Drake drilled the first oil well in Titusville, Pa., striking oil at 70 feet and setting off a wild scramble for wealth similar to the California gold rush of 1849. The land belonged to the Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company. Until that time, the company had simply collected oil that seeped out of the ground. Drake's plan was to produce it in large quantities for use in heating and illumination. Overnight oil fields sprang up in Pennsylvania but competition, disorganization and oversupply kept oil prices low. It was not until John D. Rockefeller and the Standard Oil Company came onto the scene in 1870 that the petroleum industry developed into a vastly profitable, although much hated, monopoly. (HFA, '96, p.36)(AP, 8/27/97)(HNPD, 10/4/98)(WSJ, 10/4/96, p.A9)(HNQ, 2//99)

James Buchanan, 15th President of the United States, retired to Wheatland, his Pennsylvania home, on the eve of the American Civil War. Attracted to the privacy, quiet and beauty of its rural location, Buchanan bought the 22-acre property in 1848 while he was finishing out his term as secretary of state under President James Polk. The Federal-style house was built in 1828 for William Jenkins, a wealthy lawyer and banker who named his estate "The Wheatlands" because of its setting among wheat fields. (HNQ, 4/15/01)

Jun 26, Jubal Early and his Confederate forces moved into Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. (HN, 6/26/98)

Jun 28, General Meade replaced General Hooker three days before the Battle of Gettysburg. (HN, 6/28/98)

Jun 28, Officers of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia�s Second Corps were looking at Harrisburg through field glasses from across the Susquehanna River just a day or two before a developing battle at Gettysburg called them away. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the Keystone State�s capital was a major hub for rail traffic from every direction. Consequently, it was also the point through which the hard, slow-burning coal used by ships, locomotives, and furnaces traveled on its way from the mines of north central Pennsylvania to military and industrial customers. Philadelphia, an important ocean port east of Harrisburg and connected to it by rail, would have been virtually defenseless against an attack from its landward side. If Lee had taken Harrisburg, he would also have been perfectly positioned to threaten Washington, D.C., from the north. (HNQ, 3/5/02)

Jun 29, Lee ordered his forces to concentrate near Gettysburg, PN. (MC, 6/29/02)

Jun 30, Union and Confederate cavalries clashed at Hanover, Pennsylvania.(HN, 6/30/98)

Jul 1, The opening shot at the Battle of Gettysburg was at 7:30 a.m. In the first day's fighting at Gettysburg, Federal forces retreated through the town and dug in at Cemetery Ridge and Cemetery Hill. Gen. Robert E. Lee's ordered Lt. Gen. Richard Ewell, "Take the hill if practicable, but do not bring on a general engagement..." Books on the campaign included "The Gettysburg Campaign, A Study in Command," by Edwin B. Coddington and "Gettysburg: Culp's Hill and Cemetery Hill," by Harry W. Pfanz. The novel "While Gods and Generals" by Jeff Shaara, son of Michael Shaara, describes the years leading up to the battle. (HFA, '96, p.32)(AP, 7/1/97)(SFEC, 6/21/98, p.D5)(HN, 7/1/98)

Jul 1, John Fulton Reynolds (42), Union general, died in battle at Gettysburg. (MC, 7/1/02)

Jul 1-3, From the opening shot at 7:30 a.m. on July 1, 1863, to 4 p.m. on July 3, when the last rebel assault was repulsed, the Union and Confederate armies suffered an estimated 50,000 casualties in the Battle of Gettysburg. It was the bloodiest battle the country had yet seen. Upon whom the responsibility for the South's failure at Gettysburg rests has been widely debated, but five months after the epic battle, Confederate General Robert E. Lee admitted, "I thought my men were invincible." The fighting in the small Pennsylvania town marked a pivotal point in the Union's ascent to victory and helped decide the outcome of the Civil War. (HNPD, 7/6/98)

Jul 2, The Union left flank held at Little Round Top during 2nd day of the Battle of Gettysburg. Union Gen. Daniel Sickles was severely wounded and had his leg amputated. In 2002 Thomas Keneally authored "American Scoundrel: The Life of the Notorious Civil War General Dan Sickles." (WSJ, 3/29/02, p.W10)(SFC, 4/17/02, p.D1)(AH, 2/05, p.49)

Jul 3, The Civil War's Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania ended after three days in a major victory for the North as Confederate troops retreated. The last Confederate assault at Gettysburg was Pickett�s Charge against the center of the Union line that left some 7,000 of 13,000 [15,000] Confederate troops dead. Lt. Gen. James Longstreet gave Maj. Gen. George Pickett the assent. General Lee took responsibility. In 1974 Michael Shaara published "The Killer Angels," a novel about the 3-day battle. (SFC, 7/7/96, T6)(SFC,2/17/97, p.A3)(AP, 7/3/97)(SFEC, 6/21/98, p.D5)(HN, 7/3/98)(WSJ, 9/11/98, p.W10)

Jul 4, General Lee�s army limped toward Virginia after defeat at Gettysburg. 28,063 of 75,000 confederate soldiers were lost. General Meade�s army suffered 23,049 soldiers killed, wounded and missing. (SFC, 7/7/96, T6)

Nov 19, President Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address as he dedicated a national cemetery at the site of the Civil War battlefield in Pennsylvania. Lincoln had been asked to deliver a few "appropriate remarks" to the crowd at the dedication of the National Cemetery at the site of the Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. His address was almost ignored in the wake of the lengthy oration by main speaker Edwin Everett, the former governor of Massachusetts. In fact, Lincoln's speech was over before many in the crowd were even aware that he was speaking. Lincoln concluded his speech with this vow: "We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." (, 11/19/97)(ON, 8/07, p.1)

Feb 5, The 1st motion picture was shown to a theater audience in Philadelphia. (MC, 2/5/02)

The construction of City Hall in Philadelphia began. (SFEC, 8/16/98, p.T1)

Jul 1, The 1st US zoo opened in Philadelphia. (MC, 7/1/02)

Jun 26, Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated his telephone at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. (SFC, 2/3/97, p.D1)

Feb 2, People began gathering at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa., to witness the groundhog's search for its shadow. (WSJ, 2/2/99, p.B1)

May 31, Johnstown, Pennsylvania was destroyed by a massive flood. The South Fork Dam across a tributary of the Little Conemaugh River collapsed under pressure from the rain-swollen Lake Conemaugh. Water slammed into Johnstown, Pa., 55 miles southeast of Pittsburgh and killed 2,209 people in a flood and related fire. Torrential rains had weakened the poorly constructed dam, located 14 miles upstream from the city. By the afternoon of May 31, after desperate efforts to shore up the earthen dam had failed, it broke and unleashed a 40-foot-high wave of water and debris into Johnstown with the force of Niagara Falls. Buildings and trees, along with animals and people--both dead and alive--piled up against the Pennsylvania Railroad Company's Stone Bridge. The mountain of debris then caught fire, trapping hundreds. More than 2,000 people lost their lives in the devastating Johnstown Flood. The South Fork Dam had been constructed to create Lake Conemaugh, a playground for the wealthy members of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club. In 1959 Richard O'Connor published "Johnstown, the Day the Dam Broke." In 1968 David McCullough authored �The Johnstown Flood.� (SFC, 3/24/97, p.C2)(AP, 5/31/97)(HN, 5/31/98)(WSJ, 1/27/06, p.P8)

Henry Clay Frick, partner of Andrew Carnegie, engineered a bloody clash with the labor union at the Pittsburgh Homestead Mill. 9-10 workers and 3 Pinkerton guards were killed and the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers union was crushed. (SFEC,1/20/97, p.D1)(WSJ, 5/12/03, p.A6)

Jun 14, Philadelphia observed the first Flag Day. (HN, 6/14/98)

Sep 3, The first professional American football game was played in Latrobe, Pennsylvania between the Latrobe Young Men�s Christian Association and the Jeannette Athletic Club. Latrobe wins 12-0. (HN, 9/3/00)

Feb 2, Fire destroyed the Pennsylvania state capitol in Harrisburg. A new statehouse was dedicated on the same site nine years later. (AP, 2/2/97)

May 14, "Stars and Stripes Forever" by John Phillip Sousa was performed for the first time in Philadelphia. (HN, 5/14/01)

Sep 11, A strike by some 75,000 coal miners in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia ended after 10 weeks. Concessions included an eight-hour work day, semi-monthly pay, and the abolition of company stores (which were famous for over charging workers). The day before, about 20 miners were killed when sheriff's deputies opened fire on them in Pennsylvania. (AP, 9/11/97)(MC, 9/11/01)

Jul 15, Over 74,000 Pittsburgh steel workers went on strike. (HN, 7/15/98)

Oct 3, President Theodore Roosevelt met with miners and coal field operators in an attempt to settle the anthracite coal strike, then in its fifth month. The country relied on coal to power commerce and industry and anthracite or "hard coal" was essential for domestic heating. Pennsylvania miners had left the anthracite fields demanding wage increases, union recognition, and an eight-hour workday. As winter approached, public anxiety about fuel shortages and the rising cost of all coal pushed Roosevelt to take unprecedented action. A presidential commission awarded the workers a 10% wage increase and a shorter work week. [see May 12] (LCTH, 10/3/99)(SFC, 10/4/02, p.A17)

The Capital building in Harrisburg, Pa., featured a dome modeled on St. Peter�s in Rome. (SSFC, 4/13/03, p.D6)

Milton Hershey, chocolate tycoon, opened Hershey Park, an admission-free amusement park in Hershey, Pa.

(SSFC, 4/13/03, p.D6) 1909
Dec 14, The Labor Conference in Pittsburgh ended with a "declaration of war" on U.S. Steel. (HN, 12/14/98)

Charles Taze Russell (b.1852) died. He founded the International Bible Students Association. In the 1870�s Russell abandoned the Adventist movement and formed his own in Pennsylvania, which was later named Jehovah�s Witnesses. His early followers were called "Russellites." (HN, 2/16/02)

Nov 2, The first radio broadcast in the United States was made from Pittsburgh. Westinghouse built a radio station on its factory roof. KDKA in Pittsburgh broadcast returns from the Harding-Cox presidential election. (CFA, �96, p.58)(WSJ, 1/12/98, p.A19)(HN, 11/2/98)(AP, 11/2/99)

Nov 25, The 1st Thanksgiving Parade was held in Philadelphia. (MC, 11/25/01)

Jan 2, Religious services were first broadcast on radio when KDKA aired the regular Sunday service of Pittsburgh's Calvary Episcopal Church. (AP, 1/2/00)

Nov 7, Pennsylvania voters overturned blue law, by permitting Sunday sports. (MC, 11/7/01)

Pennsylvania passed legislation to limit alcohol consumption and protect the state's brewers from outside competition. (WSJ, 3/23/04, p.B5)

The Pittsburgh Crawfords were considered to have been the greatest Negro League baseball team of all time. (SFEC, 4/12/98, p.T4)

Aug, Pres. Franklin Delano Roosevelt accepted his re-nomination and gave his "rendezvous with destiny" speech in Philadelphia. (SFEC, 7/30/00, p.C17)

Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Fallingwater house near Mill Run in Western Pennsylvania. He was warned by structural engineers that there was not enough support for the cantilevered floors, but dismissed their warnings. Sag began immediately after construction and in 1997 steel support beams were added as a temporary measure. Edgar Kaufmann Jr. later published "Fallingwater, A Frank Lloyd Wright House." (WSJ, 10/24/97, p.B18)(SFEC, 2/20/00, p.T10)

Jun 24, A 500 ton meteorite landed near Pittsburgh. (MC, 6/24/02)

Jun 24, The Republican Convention, opened in Philadelphia. In 2005 Charles Peters authored �Five Days in Philadelphia.� An account of the convention and how it freed FDR to move against Hitler. (WSJ, 7/6/05, p.D10)(

Jun 28, The Republican Convention, held in Philadelphia, nominated Wendall Willkie (d.1944) for US president on 6th ballot. Senator Charles L. McNary from Oregon was his running mate. They were defeated by President Franklin Roosevelt who won his third term. In 2005 Charles Peters authored �Five Days in Philadelphia.� An account of the convention and how it freed FDR to move against Hitler. (WSJ, 7/6/05, p.D10)(SFEC, 7/30/00, p.C17)(

Oct 1, The first section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, 160 miles in length, was opened to the public. (AP, 10/1/00)

May 26, American Flag House, the Betsy Ross Home, was given to the city of Phila. (MC, 5/26/02)

Richard James observed a torsion spring balance bounce off a ship�s deck while working at a Philadelphia shipyard and conceived the idea of a "slinky" toy for children, named by his wife, that was made the following year. (IBCC, 10/97, #9)

Jun 21, The Republican national convention opened in Philadelphia. The delegates ended up choosing Thomas E. Dewey to be their presidential nominee. (AP, 6/21/07)

Jul 15, President Truman was nominated for another term of office by the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. (AP, 7/15/97)

Pennsylvania enacted a state law requiring the reading of 10 Bible verses each day in schools followed by joint recitation of the Lord's Prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. (SFC, 11/24/03, p.A18)

Jun 14, UNIVAC, the first computer built for commercial purposes, was demonstrated in Philadelphia by Dr. John W. Mauchly and J. Prosper Eckert, Jr. (HN, 6/14/98)

Jun 15, 1st commercial electronic computer was dedicated in Philadelphia. [see Jun 14] (MC, 6/15/02)

Pennsylvania passed a law requiring a loyalty oath from candidates for public office. In 2006 the oath was deemed unconstitutional. (SFC, 8/28/06, p.A3)

Mar 26, Dr. Jonas Salk of the University of Pittsburgh announced that a vaccine against polio had been successfully tested in a small group of adults and children. By April 1955, the vaccine had undergone further testing and gained federal approval for public use, as shown in this photo of Salk administering the vaccine at Colfax School in Pittsburgh. Salk�s polio vaccine was so successful that by 1961 the incidence of polio had decreased by 95 percent. (HNPD, 3/26/99)

Jul 4, The 50-star flag made its debut in Philadelphia. A 50th star was added to the American flag in honor of Hawaii's admission into the Union on August 21, 1959. (HN, 7/4/98) (IB, Internet, 12/7/98)

Jun 17, The US Supreme Court ruled 8-1 to strike down rules requiring the recitation of the Lord's Prayer or reading of Biblical verses in public schools. The case began in 1956 when Edward L. Schempp (d.2003), on behalf of his son, objected to a 1949 Pennsylvania law requiring 10 Bible verses each day followed by the Lord's Prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. (AP, 6/17/97)(HN, 6/17/98)(SFC, 11/24/03, p.A18)

Sep, The Big Mac was created by McDonald�s franchisee Jim Delligatti in Pittsburgh. It sold for 49 cents. (SFC, 9/10/98, p.B2)

The $2.5 million, 393-foot Gettysburg National Tower was erected on private land on the edge of the Gettysburg Civil War battlefield site. It was destroyed in 2000. (SFC, 7/4/00, p.A3)

The firefly was named as the official state insect. (SFEC, 11/21/99, Z1p.2)

Dec 13, The Philadelphia Mint began stamping the Susan B. Anthony dollar, which went into circulation the following July. This was the 1st US coin to honor a woman. (AP, 12/13/97)(MC, 12/13/01)

Mar 28, America's worst commercial nuclear accident occurred inside the Unit Two reactor at the Three Mile Island plant near Middletown, Pa., almost to meltdown. Thousands living near the plant left the area before the 12-day crisis ended, during which time some radioactive water and gases were released. A combination of mechanical and human factors allowed the Unit 2 reactor to lose cooling water. It cost more than $1 billion and more than a decade to remove the damaged nuclear fuel. A 1997 study indicated increased cancer rates for people living downwind. (TMC, 1994, p.1979)(SFC, 6/8/96, p.A2)(SFC, 2/24/96, p.A3)(AP, 3/28/97) (HN, 3/28/98)(MC, 3/28/02)

Nov 11, Stormie Jones, the world�s first heart-liver transplant recipient, died at a Pittsburgh hospital at age 13. (AP, 11/11/00)

Jan 10, An unidentified 62-year-old man at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center underwent the world's second baboon liver transplant. The man died less than a month later without regaining full consciousness. (AP, 1/10/98)

Aug 12, Steel workers in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania ended a 10-month strike at Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp. with a new contract. It was the longest strike by a major steel company. (SFC, 8/13/97, p.A3)

Jul 3, The $2.5 million, 393-foot Gettysburg National Tower, erected in 1974, was destroyed. (SFC, 7/4/00, p.A3)

Sep 11,
      8:45 a.m. American Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 767 carrying 92 people, crashed into the North tower of the World Trade Center in NYC. It was enroute from Boston to LA.
      9:03 a.m. United Airlines Flight 175, a Boeing 767 carrying 65 people, crashed into the South Tower of the WTC. It was enroute from Boston to LA.
      9:38 a.m. American Airlines Flight 77, a Boeing 757 carrying 64 people, crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington, Va. It was enroute from Washington DC to LA.
      9:40 a.m. The FAA grounded all domestic flights and ordered all airborne craft to land immediately.
      10:00 a.m. The South Tower of the WTC collapsed.
      10:10 a.m. United Airlines Flight 93, a Boeing 757 carrying 45 people, crashed southeast of Pittsburgh. The plane had left Newark for SF but was believed to be directed by hijackers to Camp David. Passengers appeared to have overcome the hijackers. In 2002 it was reported that Congress was the target.
      10:29 a.m. The North Tower of the WTC collapsed.
      5:25 p.m. Building 7 of the WTC complex collapsed. Four groups of terrorists used knives, hijacked 4 airplanes, and were suspected to be linked to Osama bin Laden�s al Qaeda organization and appeared to be a franchise operation. (SFC, 9/12/01, p.A6,10,12)(WSJ, 9/12/01, p.A1)(SFC, 11/6/01, p.A6)

Sep 13, In the Sep 11 terrorist attack, 18 hijackers were identified as ticketed passengers. The data flight recorder for United Flight 93 was found at the Pennsylvania crash site. (WSJ, 9/14/01, p.A1)

Sep 20, Pres. Bush named Gov. Tom Ridge (56) of Pennsylvania to direct the new office of Homeland Security.

(SFC, 9/21/01, p.A16)