Presenting at conferences usually stresses me out. This is especially the case given that I am trying out material from my next project (No, the Never Ending Project of Doom has not ended. I just thought that working on two projects at the same time would be
So that you can share in my travels, here are some things that you might or might not know about Philadelphia:
* Philadelphia is currently the sixth largest city in the nation.
* Philadelphia police dropped a bomb from a helicopter on a house containing a radical organization in 1985. It killed eleven people, five of whom were children. The fire spread throughout the neighborhood.
* I often think of Philadelphia as the Boston that went wrong in the second part of the twentieth century.
* Philadelphia was the largest city in the United States until 1830.
* Despite its name, Philadelphia-brand cream cheese was first produced in 1880 in New York. As a marketing gimmick, the producer called it “Philadelphia Cream Cheese” because he thought that the city of Philadelphia would add a touch of class to his product.
* Philadelphia had the first public library in [what would become] the United States which opened in 1731.
* The Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and agreed to creating a nation independent of Britain. Their meeting rooms are now known as Independence Hall.
* Today, Independence Hall has no public restrooms once you have cleared security. This is something that I learned the hard way the last time that I was in Philadelphia.
* The American Philosophical Society was founded in Philadelphia in 1743 by Ben Franklin. It would compete with Boston’s American Academy of Arts and Sciences, founded by John Adams in 1780.
* Philadelphia has one of six facilities operated by the U.S. Treasury. The mint in Philadelphia produces coins of all denominations for circulation in the U.S.
* Betsy Ross lived in Philadelphia where she allegedly stitched the first flag. Others attribute the design of the U.S. flag to Francis Hopkinson, a delegate from New Jersey.
* The nation’s first carpet factory opened in Philadelphia in 1791.
* Philadelphia saw the first comic book produced in the United States, the John-Donkey, in 1848.
* Delegates drafted the Constitution of the United States, the document that currently dictates the structure of the government, in Philadelphia in 1787. Contrary to many people’s presumptions, Thomas Jefferson did not attend this event as he was residing in France at the time. He did write home, though, to criticize it.
* The film The Philadelphia Story ended Katharine Hepburn's reputation as "box office poison" when it became a major hit in 1940.
* Jazz legend Ethel Waters got her start singing blues in Philadelphia.
* Slightly more women (53% of the population) live in Philadelphia today than men.
* Over 43 percent of the city’s population identify themselves as African American. Only 8.5 percent identify themselves as Latino.
* Philadelphia was the site of a major celebration in 1876, marking the centennial of the nation. The efforts by people in 1976 to mark the bicentennial were quite pathetic in comparison.
* Served as the temporary capitol of the United States in the 1790s until Washington, D.C. was built.
* Philadelphia Freedom was the number one song in the U.S. in 1975. It was a tribute to tennis player Billie Jean King, who played on the team the Philadelphia Freedoms. Just two years earlier, King defeated Bobby Riggs in a “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match.
* Billie Jean King was born in Long Beach, California.
* The Society of Friends seems like one of the more reasonable of organized Christian groups in existence today.
* Current chart-topper P!nk started singing in clubs in Philadelphia when she was 14.
* Last year, 406 people were murdered in Philadelphia Over 10,500 people were victims of aggravated assault.
* It has been almost two years since GayProf last visited Philadelphia. The citizens of the city have cried out to heaven and wondered why I have forsaken them. Now their wait has ended.