DID YOU KNOW?
July 2, 2015 - June 5, 2016
About Philadelphia celebrates the City’s historic American firsts. Founded in 1682, Philadelphia is one of the country’s first cities and is home to many significant firsts that shaped America’s early government. Named the “birthplace of America,” Philadelphia was the meeting place for the 1st Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention, and became the first capital of the United States. It is the City where the country’s 2 most important documents – the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution – were written and signed.
In addition to some of the City’s well-known firsts – first lending library, hospital, university, art museum, zoo, and computer -- did you know, Philadelphia is also home to the first U.S. Mint, first African Methodist Episcopal Church, first women’s medical college, first children’s hospital, and host of America’s first World’s Fair? It is also where the first ice cream soda was made, where Mother’s Day was first celebrated, site of the first Thanksgiving Day parade, and where the popular Slinky toy was invented.
Philadelphia’s firsts are extensive and wide ranging from horticultural and medical advancements to human rights, consumer culture, the arts, and technology. About Philadelphia represents a small sampling of the City’s indelible contributions to the nation’s past and present. And given Philadelphia’s vanguard for creativity and innovation, the City will continue its legacy at the forefront of American ingenuity.
100 Firsts of Philadelphia
First Lending Library, 1731, Photo Courtesy Library of Congress
First Art Museum and School, 1805, Photo Courtesy Library of Congress
First Zoo, 1874, Photo Courtesy phillyhistory.org
First Computer, 1946, Photo Courtesy U.S. Army