Fun Facts about Pennsylvania

I randomly came across these facts about Pennsylvania, my home state,  and thought they would be fun to share. I was aware of some of them, but not all.

I am very aware of the 1st one as we have lived not very far from Hershey for many years! Can’t count the number of times we have visited Chocolate World, right next to Hershey Park. Yes, you can smell the delicious aroma of chocolate in the small town! 🙂

1. Considered the Chocolate Capital of the United States, Hershey, PA is home to the Hershey Chocolate Factory, where Hershey Kisses were created in 1907.

2. Pennsylvanians love their chips. PA has six regional potato chip companies: Herr’s, Utz, Martin’s, Bon Ton, Bickel’s and Snyder’s of Hanover scattered around the state’s Potato Chip Belt.

3.Peeps are manufactured in Bethlehem at the Just Born Candy factory. Every December 31st, a giant peep is dropped over the city to ring in the New Year.

4.Everyone knows Philadelphia is the proud home of the Liberty Bell. But you probably didn’t know that in 1777 the bell was stashed in the basement of Zion’s Reformed Church of Christ in Allentown to protect it from the British.

5.. Pennsylvania is misspelled on the Liberty Bell—it reads “Pensylvania.” This is because the bell was manufactured before founders agreed on a common spelling for the state’s name.

6. In Historic Bethlehem, The Moravian Book Shop stands as the oldest continuously operating bookshop in the world, founded in 1745.

7. Pittsburgh holds claim to the first ferris wheel, built in 1893.

8.  Benjamin Franklin founded the Philadelphia Zoo in 1874, the first public zoo in the United States. (This would be the zoo that I was lost at on a elementary field trip, but am glad to say that when I went back as an adult my husband made sure not to lose me!:) )

9.There is a place in Pennsylvania called Gravity Hill where gravity seems to have gone haywire. Water runs the wrong way and cars roll “uphill.” Experts believe the phenomenon is just an optical illusion, where the landscape tricks the eye into perceiving an incline where there is actually a decline. (We did visit this place 🙂 )

10. A town in Pennsylvania has been on fire for over 50 years. In 1962, a mine fire started beneath the coal-mining town of Centralia, Pennsylvania, and it’s been burning ever since. Until recent years, the only visible signs of the underground fire were cracks in the ground where smoke and steam escaped. Even though their town has been burning for 50 years, residents of Centralia refuse to leave. When the state of Pennsylvania became concerned about Centralia’s safety and claimed properties under eminent domain, residents protested. Ultimately, the government allowed them to remain. As of 2013, 7 people still lived there, making Centralia the least populated municipality in Pennsylvania.

11.  Actor Jimmy Stewart was born and raised in Indiana, Pennsylvania. To pay homage to the star, each year at Christmas, the city’s downtown is decorated in the theme of his classic hit, It’s a Wonderful Life.

12. America’s first gas station was opened in Pittsburgh in 1913.

13. The first-ever high school driver’s ed class in the U.S. took place in 1935 in State College, Pennsylvania. While driving courses were common prior to this in the United Kingdom, it took Penn State professor Amos Neyhart to introduce driving instruction to American teens.

19 thoughts on “Fun Facts about Pennsylvania

  1. Great facts, I want to visit the place where cars roll up hill, where gravity has gone haywire. Sounds fascinating along with history of the liberty bell and the town burning for 50 years would be interesting as well. I wonder if it always smells like smoke there? I suppose the 7 people would be used to it but I’d hate to smell like that 24-7. Great post!

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  2. I was thinking of you as we passed through Pennsylvania twice last week as we traveled to see Andrew in upstate NY. It’s a beautiful state. We took the kids to Hershey when they were much younger- lots of fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Too bad that you couldn’t have stopped by!!
      Yes, Hershey is a lot of fun. My husband and I have got to the point though where we are done with the amusement park! Stomachs and head can’t handle the rides anymore 😉 But we can still handle Chocolate World quite fine 🙂

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      • Well who couldn’t handle Chocolate World! 🙂 I wish we had time to stop by. I have another friend who lives in Pennsylvania too and I keep meaning to extend our trip for time for visits. Unfortunately we were on a tight schedule and had to get back quickly.

        I have not been able to handle rides for a long time now so I’ve resigned myself to being very selective about what I do go on. I spend a lot of time people watching at amusement parks these days!

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  3. I understand about time restraints and I am guessing you were more in northern Pa, so its not like you went right through our town. 🙂
    Yes, people watching can definitely be fun., I laugh for I used to laugh at my Dad for doing that, now I understand! 🙂

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