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The Philadelphia Portal

Independence Hall.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is the sixth-most-populous city in the United States and the largest in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, both in area and population. Since 1854, the city has been coterminous with Philadelphia County. Philadelphia has the second-largest downtown residential population in the U.S., behind New York, just edging out Chicago. The Philadelphia metropolitan area is the sixth-largest in the U.S. by the official definition, with about 6 million people. Philadelphia is the central city of the Delaware Valley metropolitan area.

Philadelphia is one of the oldest and most historically significant U.S. cities. It was the nation's first capital. At the time of the American Revolution, it was the second-largest English-speaking city in the world, after only London. Into the first part of the 19th century, it was the country's most populous city and eclipsed Boston and New York City in political and social importance. Benjamin Franklin played an extraordinary role in Philadelphia's rise.

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Christ Church, 2008

Christ Church is an Episcopal church in the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia. Founded in 1695 as a parish of the Church of England, it played an integral role in the founding of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States. In 1785, its rector, William White, became the first Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. From 1754 to 1810, the church's 196-foot (60 m.) tower and steeple was the tallest structure in North America. Christ Church's congregation included 15 signers of the Declaration of Independence. Revolutionary War leaders who attended Christ Church include George Washington, Robert Morris, and Benjamin Franklin. Christ Church was added to the National Register of Historic Places and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1970.

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Independence Hall in the 1770s.

The Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783 (also known as the Philadelphia Mutiny) was an anti-government protest by nearly 400 soldiers of the Pennsylvania Militia in June 1783. The militiamen, veterans of the Revolutionary War, surrounded Independence Hall demanding that the state legislature, meeting on the second floor, pay them their long-overdue wages. The United States Congress, meeting on the first floor, felt threatened and demanded that John Dickinson, President of the Executive Council of Pennsylvania, remove the soldiers by force, which he refused to do. The noisy protest resulted in Congress vacating Philadelphia (for Princeton, New Jersey), and illustrated the need for the national capital to be in a district under federal control.

Selected biography

Leonore Annenberg.

Leonore Annenberg was a billionaire former Chief of Protocol of the United States. A prominent philanthropist, she was married to Walter Annenberg, who was an Ambassador to the United Kingdom and a business magnate. She served as the chairman and president of the Annenberg Foundation. Born in New York City and raised in Los Angeles, she graduated from Stanford University. After her first two marriages ended in divorce, she married business magnate Walter Annenberg, who was appointed U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom in 1969. In her role as the ambassador's wife, Leonore directed a major renovation of the ambassador's official residence. The Annenbergs contributed to Ronald Reagan's 1980 presidential campaign and upon his inauguration, Leonore was named Chief of Protocol, placing her in charge of advising the president, vice president, and Secretary of State on matters relating to diplomatic protocol. The Annenbergs became major philanthropists, donating money to education facilities, charitable causes, and the arts. Leonore served on many committees and boards as well. Following Walter Annenberg's death in 2002, she continued to donate money and promote the Annenberg Foundation.

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Selected anniversaries - February

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"Philadelphia is a city to be happy in...Everything is well conditioned and cared for. If any fault could be found it would be that of too much regularity and too nice precision."

- Nathaniel Parker Willis

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