In the next few days, I will post entries about places in Philadelphia. Philadelphia is one of the major cities in the northeast region of the United States. It’s located along one of the busiest interstate highways in the country, Interstate 95, in between two other big cities, Washington, DC, and New York City. The city was founded in 1682 by William Penn (who also founded the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania). It was an important city during the American Revolution, as it was the meeting place for the Founding Fathers of the United States who wrote and signed the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia on July 4th, 1776 and the US Constitution on September 17, 1787. The city also served as the temporary nation’s capital between 1790 and 1800 while the federal city of Washington, DC was under construction. Today, Philadelphia plays an important role as one of the major financial centers in the United States, and it’s also one of the largest health education and research centers in the country.
I first visited Philadelphia only to stop for lunch during a road trip between Washington, DC, and New York City. A few years ago, I spent almost a year traveling between Washington, DC and northern suburb of Philadelphia as I worked on a couple of projects for large healthcare companies in the area. I spent most of the time at work, however, so I didn’t get a chance to do touristy things until later after the projects were done. Since the location is not too far away from Washington, DC, area where I live (about 3.5 hour drive), it’s possible to do day trip to visit the city.
The photo below was taken when I visited the Independence National Historical Park in downtown Philadelphia a couple of years ago. It’s a statue of Philadelphia’s most famous resident, Benjamin Franklin, outside the American Philosophical Society building. Ben Franklin’s name is commemorated in many places in Philadelphia area — Ben Franklin Parkway, Franklin Institute — and rightly so, as he played an important role in the city and nation’s history. Franklin was instrumental in establishing some of the cities important services (e.g., its first fire department, library, and hospital). He also played important role in advancing science (he invented the lightning rod, bifocals, among others), and he also served as the Governor of Pennsylvania and as US Ambassador to France. Today you can also find his portrait on the US $100 bill.