All eyes will be on Philadelphia this summer when the 2016 Democratic National Convention comes to town July 25-28, 2016. Known as the birthplace of America and the country’s first World Heritage City,there is enough history, art, culture, food, vibrant neighborhoods, parks and political landmarks to fill web, newspaper and magazine pages from now until the convention. I can’t tell you how many times I have been to the city and have not even scratched the surface of all that it offers visitors and locals. Philadelphia is one of my favorite cities on the East Coast, I need to visit more this year!
Here are 10 Philly Facts You (Probably) Don’t Know:
- One-quarter of the U.S. population lives within a five-hour drive of Philadelphia. I am one of those people, a short drive up 95 North and I am in the Birthplace of America.
- Pennsylvania Hospital, founded by Benjamin Franklin and Dr. Thomas Bond in 1751, is America’s first hospital.
- Benjamin Franklin founded the nation’s first library, The Library Company of Philadelphia, in 1731. It served as the Library of Congress from the Revolutionary War until 1800.
- Philadelphia is known as the City of Murals. Started as an anti-graffiti initiative in the 1980s, the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program has created 3,800 larger-than-life works and is the most influential mural arts organization in the world.
- It’s not the first time the city has been in the political spotlight. The birthplace of America hosted the First Continental Congress in 1774. In more recent history, Philadelphia hosted the DNC in 1936 and 1948 and the RNC in 1856 (the first), 1872, 1900, 1940, 1948 and 2000.
- The municipality’s park system is one of the oldest and biggest in the nation. It consists of 63 parks covering 9,200 acres; the primary park, Fairmount Park, spans more than 4,100 acres. (larger than Central Park!)
- Philadelphia is home to more Impressionist paintings than any other city besides Paris and its Rodin Museum. In fact, Philly has the largest collection of the sculptor’s work outside of Paris.
- The Philadelphia Zoo, which opened on July 1, 1874, is the nation’s first zoo. Today it houses more than 13,000 animals on 42 acres.
- Cheesesteaks are available 24/7, but most locals prefer roast pork sandwiches with broccoli rabe and provolone. Don’t knock it until you try it!
- Half of the answers to the 100-question U.S. citizenship test study guide can be found in Philadelphia, where so many key historic events took place.
Are you ready for a visit to the Birthplace of America? With so much to see and do make sure you are in town for at least a weekend, if not a full week! Plan your next trip with the help of Visit Philly.