Philly Fun Facts

posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2016 at 8:44:54 AM

You know it for the Liberty Bell, Declaration of Independence and those popular cheesesteaks, but this city is also home to the first hospital and America’s first zoo, too. Take a walk with us through the history of Philadelphia and learn some interesting “firsts” about the City of Brotherly Love.

1. Elfreth’s Alley, located in Old City north of Arch Street (between Front and 2nd streets) is America’s oldest continually inhabited street.

2. Brothers Pat and Harry Olivieri invented the cheesesteak in 1930, thought it didn’t originally include cheese. Pat opened South Philly’s famous Pat's King of Steaks, the restaurant that continually competes with Geno’s Steaks.

3. The first-ever Thanksgiving Day Parade was held here in 1920.

4. The National Football League’s Philadelphia Eagles were named after the eagle that appeared on posters during the National Recovery Act, part of FDR’s New Deal.

5. You can visit Betsy Ross’ home in Old City. She was widely credited with making the first American flag.

6. Philadelphia is a city of firsts: in 1731, Philly’s library became the nation’s first; the first newspaper was published here in 1784; and the first mint was established in 1792.

7. Philadelphia is considered to be one of the most haunted cities in the United States.

8. Many think that “Pennsylvania” is misspelled on the Liberty Bell, but at the time, “Pensylvania” was the acceptable spelling.

9. Philly has more impressionist paintings than any other city besides Paris.

10. The Mütter Museum is an oddity—here you can see pieces of Einstein’s brain, a tumor removed from President Grover Cleveland, and a piece of the thorax from John Wilkes Booth (the man who killed President Abraham Lincoln).

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