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Philadelphia Pennsylvania

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Wilson’s Blog

First stop, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, we saw many FIRST places. First place the people who started the country of America all met. First place the first American flag was made. First library in America. The building where the first fire department in America was.

And we had our first cheese steak sandwich. And our second and third cheese steak. Ditch’s stomach was full but he said, “I want one more cheese steak.” He ate it and I waited for him to blow up. He didn’t, but he moaned like a baby skunk.

Did you know there’s a building in Philadelphia where they make money? True fact. It’s called a MINT. Not the kind you eat. They make coins there.

Ditch and I walked through the money factory. They told me they make 8 million quarters and 16 million pennies there every day! I never saw so many coins.

After the coins, Ditch and I walked through a big sculpture of a heart at the Franklin Institute.

So many amazing science things there.

Guess what? It made Ditch got hungry. Again! So we got a bunch of soft pretzels – right out of the warm oven where they make them in Philadelphia. They were so good and soft -- like the carpet in our Mommy’s house back home. I miss my Mommy.

Before we left Philadelphia, we rowed a long boat on the Schuylkill River, then ran up famous stairs out front of Art Museum. We huffed and puffed. Ditch took a short nap.

Apple Pie Picks

Independence National Historic Park & Liberty Bell Center

This historic site features the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and Constitution Hall. See where the Declaration of Independence was written and then publicly read for the first time on July 8, 1776 in Independence Square. At Independence Hall you can see the Constitution, The Declaration of Independence and George Washington’s “Rising Sun Chair.” Across the street, visit the Liberty Bell at The Liberty Bell Center and read the words of its purpose, to “proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.”

Betsy Ross House

This historic house was home to Betsy Ross, the woman who sewed and help design our nation’s first 13-star flag in 1776. The house is over 250 years old and located in the heart of historic Philadelphia. While visiting the museum, stop to talk to “Betsy Ross,” watch Colonial Crafters and learn more about an American Revolutionary War soldier’s life through the museum’s live programming.

Philadelphia Zoo

The Philadelphia Zoo was the first zoo in the United States. The 42-acre zoo first opened its gates on July 1, 1874 -- that makes it 150 years old! The zoo is home to more than 2000 animals, exhibits, live animal shows, boat and pony rides, tours, animal feedings, and a carousel. The children’s zoo, opened in 1938, was also the first of its kind in the United States. Here, visitors can get up close with sheep, goats, chicks, rabbits, porcupines, hogs, owls and hedgehogs.

The United States Mint

Half of all coins used in the United States are made at the Philadelphia U.S. Mint. This mint produces approximately 8 million quarters, 4 million dimes, 1.5 million nickels and 16 million pennies every weekday. The Mint also produces Presidential and Commemorative Medals and is home to a large collection of rare coins, medals and a coining press last used in 1792. Visitors can take a self-guided tour and watch the coins being made through a window above the operations.

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Local Chow

Philadelphia Cheesesteaks

Cheesesteaks are one of the favorite foods of the city of Philadelphia. A cheesesteak, also known as a Philadelphia cheesesteak, Philly cheesesteak, Philly, or steak and cheese, is a hot sandwich made from thinly sliced pieces of steak and melted cheese on long soft Italian bread. White American cheese, Mozzarella, provolone, and soft sprayable cheese are the most frequently used cheeses. The steak is cooked on a lightly oiled griddle with other optional ingredients such as fried onions, sautéed green peppers, and mushrooms. Once everything is all nice and grilled, cheese is added to the top and stuffed into a fresh roll. There are lots of Philly cheesesteak places to choose from -- you can’t go wrong!

"Look at this cheesesteak it is bigger than your head!"

"No it's not!"

"Yes it is! And it's filled with more cheese than your head!"

"Is not!"

"Mmmmm. And tastes better than your head! Hey, waiter another Philly cheesteak as big as my brother's head please!"

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Digging History


Charles II of England grants William Penn a charter for what will become the Pennsylvania colony.


William Penn founds Philadelphia.


The first public school in the American Colonies is established.


The Library Company of Philadelphia, the first in America, is founded.


Benjamin Franklin arrives in Philadelphia. He will play a large part in the city's development.


The Bank of North America is established. American colonies' first hospital and the College of Philadelphia are founded.


The first Congress of the United States meet in Congress Hall.


The first Federal Mint is established.

The Continental Congress elects Benjamin Franklin to be the first Postmaster General of the United Colonies.


The American Revolutionary War begins.


July 2nd, Congress votes to declare independence from Great Britain.

July 4th, The Declaration of Independence is adopted.

July 8th, The Declaration of Independence is read to the people from the Observatory, State House Yard, by John Nixon.


The act to incorporate the city of Philadelphia is passed by the Legislature.

The first presidential election in the United States of America takes place.

George Washington is elected for the first of his two terms as President of the United States, and John Adams becomes the first Vice President of the United States.


The first Zoological Garden in America is founded.


The United States celebrates its 100th birthday.


Philadelphia City Hall is completed after twenty-three years of construction.


The United States celebrates its 200th birthday.

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