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Pennsylvania (/ˌpɛnsɪlˈvniə/ (About this soundlisten) PEN-sil-VAY-nee-ə), officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state located in the northeastern, Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The Appalachian Mountains run through its middle. The Commonwealth is bordered by Delaware to the southeast, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to the northwest, New York to the north, and New Jersey to the east.

Pennsylvania is the 33rd-largest state by area, and the 6th-most populous state according to the most recent official U.S. Census count in 2010. It is the 9th-most densely populated of the 50 states. Pennsylvania's two most populous cities are Philadelphia (1,580,863), and Pittsburgh (302,407). The state capital and its 10th largest city is Harrisburg. Pennsylvania has 140 miles (225 km) of waterfront along Lake Erie and the Delaware Estuary.

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Hawk Mountain is a mountain ridge, part of the Appalachian Mountains, located in central-eastern Pennsylvania near Reading and Allentown. It is a part of the Blue Mountain Ridge. It is primarily known as home to the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. Located along the Appalachian flyway, the Sanctuary is a prime location for the viewing of kettling and migrating raptors with an average of 20,000 hawks, eagles and falcons passing the lookouts every year. The birds are identified and counted by staff and volunteers to produce annual counts of migrating raptors that represent the world's longest record of raptor populations. These counts have provided conservationists with valuable information on changes in raptor numbers in North America.

The River of Rocks is visible and accessible from the Sanctuary. The boulders were formed by periglacial processes in the Pleistocene epoch, or "ice age." (Read more...)

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Scranton is the county seat of Lackawanna County in Northeastern Pennsylvania, USA. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 76,415 (2006 estimate: 72,861). Scranton is Pennsylvania's sixth most populous city. Scranton is the geographic and cultural center of the Lackawanna River valley. It is the largest city located in a contiguous quilt-work of former anthracite coal mining communities including the smaller cities of Wilkes-Barre, Pittston, and Carbondale. Scranton was incorporated as a borough on February 14, 1856 and as a city on April 23, 1866.

Present-day Scranton and the surrounding area had been inhabited by the native Lenape tribe, from whose language "Lackawanna" (or "le-can-hanna", meaning "stream that forks") is derived. Gradually, settlers from New England came to the area in the late 1700s, establishing mills and other small businesses, and their village became known as Slocum Hollow. Isaac Tripp, known as the first settler, built his home here in 1778 which still stands in the Providence section of the city as a testament to this era.

The city is also notably known as the setting of the current NBC sitcom The Office. (Read more...)

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Credit: Bryan Y.W. Shin
The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia; the first university in the United States and a member of the Ivy League.

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Waterford Covered Bridge

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George Kenneth "Ken" Griffey, Jr. (born November 21, 1969, in Donora, Pennsylvania) is a second generation Major League Baseball player on the Cincinnati Reds. He is one of the most prolific home run hitters in baseball history. His nicknames have been "The Natural", "The Kid", and "Junior". He is the son of former big league outfielder Ken Griffey, Sr.

Ken Griffey, Jr. shares not only the same birthday, but also the same birthplace, as Hall of Famer Stan Musial in the town of Donora, Pennsylvania. His family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where father Ken Griffey, Sr. played for the Cincinnati Reds, when Junior was five. He attended Archbishop Moeller High School.

In 1987, Griffey was selected with the first overall pick of that year's amateur draft by the Seattle Mariners based on his tremendous potential. One scout said of Griffey, "If you thought Barry Bonds was interesting, wait until you see this kid." In January of 1988, Griffey attempted suicide by swallowing 277 aspirin. He ended up in the intensive care unit at Providence Hospital in Mount Airy, Ohio. Griffey was overwhelmed by racial slurs directed at him as well as a tenuous relationship with his father. He rebounded the next year as a big leaguer. He was well on his the way to the Rookie of the Year award, but was thwarted when he slipped in the shower and broke a bone in his right hand in late July, 1989. (Read more...)

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