The Philadelphia Portal

Philadelphia skyline from South Street Bridge January 2020 (rotate 2 degrees perspective correction crop 4-1).jpg

Philadelphia, colloquially Philly, is the largest city in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania and the sixth-most populous U.S. city, with a 2019 estimated population of 1,584,064. Since 1854, the city has had the same geographic boundaries as Philadelphia County, the most-populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U.S. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents . Philadelphia is also the economic and cultural center of the greater Delaware Valley along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill rivers within the Northeast megalopolis. The Delaware Valley's population of 7.2 million makes it the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States.

Philadelphia is one of the oldest municipalities in the United States. William Penn, an English Quaker, founded the city in 1682 to serve as capital of the Pennsylvania Colony. Philadelphia played an instrumental role in the American Revolution as a meeting place for the Founding Fathers of the United States, who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 at the Second Continental Congress, and the Constitution at the Philadelphia Convention of 1787. Several other key events occurred in Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War including the First Continental Congress, the preservation of the Liberty Bell, the Battle of Germantown, and the Siege of Fort Mifflin. Philadelphia remained the nation's largest city until being overtaken by New York City in 1790; the city was also one of the nation's capitals during the revolution, serving as temporary U.S. capital while Washington, D.C. was under construction. In the 19th and 20th centuries, Philadelphia became a major industrial center and a railroad hub. The city grew due to an influx of European immigrants, most of whom initially came from Ireland and Germany—the two largest reported ancestry groups in the city . Later immigrant groups in the 20th century came from Italy (Italian being the third largest European ethnic ancestry currently reported in Philadelphia) and other Southern European and Eastern European countries. In the early 20th century, Philadelphia became a prime destination for African Americans during the Great Migration after the Civil War. Puerto Ricans began moving to the city in large numbers in the period between World War I and II, and in even greater numbers in the post-war period. The city's population doubled from one million to two million people between 1890 and 1950. (Full article...)

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Aqua String Band, Mummers Parade, 2007

The Mummers Parade is held each New Year's Day in Philadelphia. Local clubs, usually called "New Years Associations", compete in one of four categories: Comics, Fancies, String Bands, and Fancy Brigades. They prepare elaborate costumes and moveable scenery, which take months to complete. Preparations are done in clubhouses, many of which are located on or near 2nd Street (called "Two Street" by some local residents) in the Pennsport neighborhood of South Philadelphia. The parade is related to the mummers play tradition from Britain and Ireland.

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The Inquirer Building on North Broad Street.

The Philadelphia Inquirer is a morning daily newspaper that serves the Philadelphia metropolitan area. The newspaper, founded by John R. Walker and John Norvell in June 1829 as The Pennsylvania Inquirer, is the third-oldest surviving daily newspaper in the United States. Owned by the local group Philadelphia Media Holdings LLC, The Inquirer has the nineteenth-largest average weekday U.S. newspaper circulation and has won eighteen Pulitzer Prizes. The paper has risen and fallen in prominence throughout its history. The Inquirer first became a major newspaper during the American Civil War when its war coverage was popular on both sides. The paper's circulation dropped after the war, then rose again by the end of the century. Originally supportive of the Democratic Party, The Inquirer's political affiliation eventually shifted towards the Whig Party and then the Republican Party, before officially becoming politically independent in the middle of the 20th century. By the end of the 1960s, The Inquirer trailed its chief competitor, the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, and lacked modern facilities and experienced staff. In the 1970s, new owners and editors turned the newspaper into one of the country's most prominent, winning 17 Pulitzers in 15 years. Its prestige has since waned because of cost-cutting and a shift of focus to more local coverage.

Selected biography

Sarah Chang holding violin

Sarah Chang is a classical violinist recognized as a child prodigy who first played as a soloist when she was eight years old. She is a graduate of the Juilliard School and has performed as a soloist with many of the world's major orchestras. Born in Philadelphia and raised in Voorhees—a Philadelphia suburb—she is the daughter of Myoung-Jun, a composer, and Min-Soo Chang, who was a violinist and music teacher. Her mother trained her to play one-finger melodies on the piano at age three. For her fourth birthday, she was given a 1/16-sized violin. In 1986, when Chang was five years old, she auditioned for and was accepted to the Juilliard School by performing the Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor. She auditioned at the age of eight with Zubin Mehta and the New York Philharmonic, as well as Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Both conductors granted her immediate engagements. In 1991, when Chang was ten years old, she recorded her first album, Debut, which entered the Billboard chart of classical best-sellers. In 2006, Newsweek ranked her as one of the Top Eight Achieving Females in the United States. Chang has also performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic, and many others. Chang has been a soloist under many famous conductors including Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Plácido Domingo, and John Williams. Notable recital engagements have included her Carnegie Hall debut and performances at the Kennedy Center, Boston's Symphony Hall, London's Barbican Centre, and Berlin's Philharmonie.

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"…what [our Founding Fathers] were able to do, especially in Philadelphia in 1787, four months, they argued about what a House should be, what a Senate should be, the power of the president, the Congress, the Supreme Court. And they had to deal with slavery."*

Colin Powell

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