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Pennsylvania Facts

PA State Flag
Pennsylvania State Flag

State Symbols

State Animal: Whitetail Deer
State Bird: Ruffed Grouse
State Dog: Great Dane
State Fish: Brook Trout
State Flower: Mountain Laurel
State Tree: Hemlock
State Insect: Firefly
State Beverage: Milk
State Steam Locomotive: K4s Steam
State Electric Locomotive: GCI 4849 Electric
State Ship: United States Brig Niagara
State Fossil: Phacops Rana
State Nickname: The Keystone State
State Motto: Virtue, Liberty, and Independence
State Song: Pennsylvania

Facts about Pennsylvania

  • The Giants Despair Hill Climb is held just outside of Wilkes-Barre each summer and is one of the oldest motor car events held in the world. It first began in 1906.
  • Billy Joel wrote the song Allentown, based on the Steel Industry in the Allentown and Bethlehem areas of Pennsylvania.
  • Rev. Father Murgas built The Murgas System of Wireless Telegraphy in Wilkes-Barre in 1905 it was tested successfully on 2 wireless transmitters built between Wilkes-Barre and Scranton.
  • The name Pennsylvania translates into "Penn's Woods" named after Admiral William Penn's father. The city of York, Pa was the first capitol of the United States.
  • The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was first settled in 1643, Philadelphia was it's first capitol.
  • Pennsylvania is the 32nd largest state with 45,888 square miles of land.
  • Pennsylvania has 2 counties with no traffic lights, Forest County and Perry County.
  • HBO was originally located in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
  • The Constitution, Declaration of Independence and the Gettysburg Address were all written in Pennsylvania.
  • Sullivan County has only 1 traffic light. It is located in Dushore where Routes 87 and 220 meet.
  • Amadeo Obici started a fruit and peanut stand in 1906, at 15 E. Market Street in Wilkes-Barre, his stand grew to become Planters Peanuts, the world's largest peanut manufacturer. Now owned by Nabisco, the company still has a presence in the Wilkes-Barre area. One of the original cast iron "Mr. Peanut" statues is located in the Greater Wilkes-Barre chamber of Commerce, it was formerly located outside Planters headquarters.

Statistics about Pennsylvania

Width: 310 miles Height: 180 miles
Geographic Center: Centre County
Highest Point: Mt. Davis
Lowest Point: Delaware River
Largest County: Lycoming
Capitol: Harrisburg
Number of Counties: 67
Population: 12,009,000
Rural Population: 3,700,000
State Parks: 116 with 282,500 acres
State Game Lands: 294 with 1,379,002 acres
State Representatives: 203
State Senators: 50
U.S. Representatives: 21
U.S. Senators: 2

National firsts in Pennsylvania

First to build:

  • The first hospital, library, and zoo were built in the Commonwealth.
  • We were the first to use a locomotive on a railroad.
  • The Pennsylvania Turnpike was the first high-speed multi-lane highway in the United States.
  • The first paper mill was built here.

Firsts in technology:

  • The first newspaper was printed in Pa.
  • The first all motion-picture theater was located in Pa.
  • The first television broadcast, radio broadcast, and educational public-television station were all made here in Pa.
  • The first pharmacist in the nation was here.
  • We were the first to build the electronic computer and to use a computer commercially.
  • We had the first cable television and educational public television stations here.

Other firsts:

  • The site of the first National Capitol.
  • The banana split was created in the state.