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The largest city in area in the United States is Juneau, Alaska. It covers 3,248 square miles, yet the city population is fewer than 30,000.

Boeing's final assembly plant, the world's largest building, is located in Everett, Washington.
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Philadelphia is the largest city in Pennsylvania and the sixth most populous city in the United States. It is colloquially referred to as The City of Brotherly Love (from Greek: "philos "love" and adelphos "brother"). It eclipsed Boston and New York City in political and social importance, with Benjamin Franklin taking a large role in Philadelphia's rise. It was the social and geographical center of the original 13 American colonies. It was in this "center" that thoughts, and subsequent actions, gave birth to the American Revolution and to the American ideals of liberty, democracy and independence.

Prior to the arrival of Europeans the Philadelphia area was inhabited by the Lenape (Delaware) Indians. Europeans arrived in the Delaware Valley in the early 1600s, with the first settlements being founded by the Dutch, British and Swedish. In 1681, as part of a repayment of a debt, Charles II of England granted William Penn a charter for what would become the Pennsylvania colony. Part of Penn's plan for the colony was to create a city on the Delaware River to serve as a port and place for government. Despite already having been given the land by Charles II, Penn bought the land from the local Lenape to be on good terms with the Native Americans and ensure peace for his colony. According to legend Penn made a treaty of friendship with Lenape chief Tammany under an elm tree at Shackamaxon, in what is now the city's Kensington section. Having been a Quaker, Penn had experienced religious persecution and wanted his colony to be a place where anyone could worship freely despite their religion.

Penn's plan was that Philadelphia would be like an English rural town instead of a city. The city's roads were designed with a grid plan with the idea that houses and businesses would be spread far apart and surrounded by gardens and orchards. The city's inhabitants didn't follow Penn's plans and crowded by the Delaware River and subdivided and resold their lots. Before Penn left Philadelphia for the last time he issued the Charter of 1701 establishing Philadelphia as a city. The city soon grew and established itself as important trading center.

Historic Figures

Benjamin Franklin (1706 –1790)

Benjamin Franklin (1706 –1790)
“By turns pamphleteer, apprentice, printer, balladeer, inventor, philosopher, politician, soldier, firefighter, ambassador, family man, sage, delegate, signer, shopkeeper, bookseller, cartoonist, grandfather, anti-slavery agitator, Mason, and deist — he was all of the above and none of the above.” Franklin's legacy is ubiquitous in Philadelphia. From the societies and public institutions that he helped found, to the institutions and neighborhoods that bear his name, to the businesses that today use his likeness, to the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia is still very much Franklin's city.

July 19, 2024

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