Each place comes with its own unique set of bragging rights; if you’re from Florida, you get to brag about your beaches, if you’re from New York you get to brag about seeing celebrities every two seconds, and if you’re from New Jersey you get to brag about… I’m not sure. (Just kidding. New Jersey has tons of great things, like diners and the shore and Frank Sinatra.) Anyway, here’s what we have to brag about here in Pennsylvania.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. The Meadowcroft Rock Shelter.
The oldest evidence of human civilization in North America is located at an archaeological site in Avella, called the Meadowcroft Rock Shelter. Scientists have determined that human occupancy here began somewhere betwen 16,000 and 19,000 years ago.
2. Our incredible state history.
Beyond ancient archaeology, historians find Pennsylvania of special interest thanks to the huge role it played during the United States' early years. To this day, the Liberty Bell is housed in Philadelphia, the same city in which the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed.
3. The Gettysburg Address and the Battle of Gettysburg.
Another hugely historic site in Pennsylvania is Gettysburg, where the Civil War's bloodiest battle took place over three days in July of 1863. This battle is often described as the turning point of the entire war. In November, President Lincoln delivered the now-famous Gettysburg Address to honor the fallen Union soldiers; above is one of two authenticated photographs of Lincoln from this event.
4. Pittsburgh's recent popularity in the film industry.
Recent happenings in PA lend us bragging rights, also. For example, many Hollywood movies have been filmed in Pittsburgh recently, including "The Dark Knight Rises" and "Perks of Being a Wallflower." The city is now considered one of the top cities for film in the country.
5. The world's first computer was located in Philadelphia.
ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer) was first announced in 1946 and colloquially became known as a "Giant Brain." It was located in the U.S. Army's Ballistic Research Laboratory in Philadelphia, and it took up multiple rooms.
6. The world's oldest manufacturer of high-end acoustic guitars is located in Nazareth.
Martin Guitar has been around since 1833— that's way longer than any of us. If you visit the Martin Guitar Factory in Nazareth, you can take a free tour of the factory and see their museum. It's worth a trip.
7. The world's first complete T-rex skeleton.
You can find it in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, along with a full display of incredible fossils. Aside from this amazing artifact, Pittsburgh is known as a dinosaur capital— funky statues of dinosaurs can be found throughout the city.
8. The highest Amish population in the world.
Amish people fascinate many Americans due to their generally conservative, Christian lifestyles. The most traditional eschew modern conveniences and customs such as cars, computers, and higher education. A trip to Lancaster County offers an intriguing learning experience, a peaceful afternoon, and some great baked goods.
9. The mushroom capital of the world.
Kennett Square, located near Philadelphia, is one of the country's foremost producers of mushrooms, with over one million pounds coming from the town each week. Kennett Square hosts a Mushroom Festival each year to celebrate its agricultural heritage.
10. Our history with steel, oil, and coal.
It was once said that Pennsylvania steel built America— this isn't far from the truth, considering how much steel from Bethlehem and Pittsburgh went into constructing railroads and buildings across the country. The modern oil industry was founded in Titusville, and Pennsylvania is located smack-dab in the middle of the rust belt. The resources that Pennsylvania contributed to the U.S. are nothing to smirk at.
11. The Christmas tree capital of the world.
Jimmy Stewart was born in Indiana, Pennsylvania, which is today known as the Christmas Tree capital of the world. Each year, the town decks its halls in honor of Jimmy Stewart's role in the iconic Christmas movie, "It's a Wonderful Life."
12. Punxsutawney Phil and Groundhog Day.
How would we ever know if spring were coming or not were it not for Punxsutawney Phil? Okay, the groundhog's predictions aren't always on point, but at least we have the wonderful Bill Murray movie thanks to this strange tradition. Even better, Pennsylvanians can easily participate in the festivities that occur each year at Gobbler's Knob.
13. A resident with the longest name in the world.
Adolph Blaine Charles David Earl Frederick Gerald Hubert Irvin John Kenneth Lloyd Martin Nero Oliver Paul Quincy Randolph Sherman Thomas Uncas Victor William Xerxes Yancy Zeus Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorffwelchevoralternwarengewissenhaftschaferswessenschafewarenwohlgepflegeundsorgfaltigkeitbeschutzenvorangreifendurchihrraubgierigfeindewelchevoralternzwolfhunderttausendjahresvorandieerscheinenvonderersteerdemenschderraumschiffgenachtmittungsteinundsiebeniridiumelektrischmotorsgebrauchlichtalsseinursprungvonkraftgestartseinlangefahrthinzwischensternartigraumaufdersuchennachbarschaftdersternwelchegehabtbewohnbarplanetenkreisedrehensichundwohinderneuerassevonverstandigmenschlichkeitkonntefortpflanzenundsicherfreuenanlebenslanglichfreudeundruhemitnichteinfurchtvorangreifenvorandererintelligentgeschopfsvonhinzwischensternartigraum, Senior was a typesetter who lived in Philadephia.
14. Our state beverage.
Is this something to brag about? Maybe. We have such strong bones!
What else would you add to this list? Surely, there is plenty more.