Friday, March 24, 2006

Pennsylvania Power

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." Benjamin Franklin

A while back I shared a triviafest about New Jersey. Much as I love Jersey, I'm a native of Pennsylvania. So now it's time to give my home state its due. Maybe we can't claim The Boss, but we've got Ben Franklin, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon and (oy) Rick Santorum.

Most people know Philadelphia, PA as the birthplace of America. But I bet you didn't know the first World Series was held in Pittsburgh, PA. Or that the first Big Mac was introduced at a Uniontown, PA McDonalds.

And, well, it's hard to top this ... a Pennsylvanian invented the first pull tab on beer cans.

Yo, are we cool or what?

PA is a, make that a Commonwealth filled with famous inventions and fabulous firsts. Take a look for yourself. Then check to see if you qualify as a Power PAer.

PA Facts
Home of the Amish
Home of Little League Baseball
Home of the Slinky
Home of Crayola Crayons
Birthplace of Coal Industry
Christmas Tree Capital of the World
Most famous battle of the Civil War
Worst nuclear power plant disaster
Home of the first roller coaster
World's largest chocolate factory
Mail order capital of the US
Mushroom capital of the world

PA Firsts

First American society for the abolition of slavery

First anti-slavery resolution
First abolition law
First African-American church - Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church
First treaty between America and Indian tribes
First non-reservation school for Indians
First successful women's magazine - Godey's Lady's Book
First college for training Women physicians - Female Medical College of Pennsylvania
First woman to serve as Speaker of a State House of Representatives - Alice M. Bentley
First bridge to be named for a woman - The Betsy Ross Bridge
First baseball stadium built for a Black team - Greenlee Stadium, Pittsburgh, 1933
First African-American woman to be elected a State Legislator - Crystal Bird Fauset,1938
First African-American reporter hired by a major network - Malvin (Mal) Goode, hired by ABC, 1962
First African-American to serve as Speaker of a State House of Representatives - K. Leroy Irvis, 1977 (RIP)

Government and Commerce
First United States Capital - York, PA
First paper mill in North America
First public school in the American Colonies
First public library
First volunteer fire company
First fire insurance company
First department store
First public bank in the U S
First United States Mint
First Stock Exchange in America
First Building and Loan Association
First labor strike - Philadelphia carpenters, 1791
First municipal airport
First coast-to-coast highway - U.S. Route 30
First driver's education class (Duh, that was a no-brainer.)
First US air raid shelter
First Jeep manufactured
First oil well
First pretzel factory

Media and Sports
First magazine
First daily newspaper (Let's hope we don't see the last.)
First American newspaper cartoon
First movie theater

First orchestra
First radio station
World's first radio address - Herbert Hoover, in Pittsburgh, 1921
First demonstration of electronic television broadcasting
First televised political convention - Republican National Convention, Philadelphia, 1948
First cable television system
First HBO pay TV broadcast
First public television station
First pro football team
First World Series - Pittsburgh Pirates (Against the Boston Pilgrims), 1903
First World Series night game - Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, 1971
First retractable roof on an auditorium - Mellon Arena
First golf course in America
First pro athlete to own a major league franchise - Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins Hockey, 1999
First use of anabolic steroids in sports (Jeez, you'd think that would've been New Jersey.)

Medicine and Science
First institution devoted to science
First school of anatomy in North America
First medical school
First free medical clinic
First federal hospital
First crematory (Yuk, who'd be proud of that?)
First community illuminated by electricity
First polio vaccine

First designated university - University of Pennsylvania,1791
First Atomic submarine engine
First successful Siamese twin separation
American Medical Association founded

Technology and The Arts
First totally air conditioned building
First typewriter
First computer
First store to use escalators
First locomotive
First known distilling process for petroleum
First nuclear power plant
First supertanker
First drive-in gas station
First suspension bridge
First Robotics Institute
First modern art museum
First art institution in America
First Internet "emoticon" - the smiley - created by computer scientist Scott Fahlman, 1980 (Okay, now we're getting somewhere. :-)

Last & Best Firsts

First Bible printed in America
First beauty salon
First zoo
First World's Fair
First taxi service
First ferris wheel
First "Christmas Club"
First Thanksgiving Day Parade

First accordian
First bubble gum
First banana split
First game of bingo
First major brewery to use aluminum bottles

And Finally
First Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security - January 24, 2003, Tom Ridge (We're not necessarily proud of this.)

First battle - and victory - against terrorism - September 11, 2001, United Airlines Flight 93 in the sky over Shanksville, Somerset County, PA (We're definitely proud of--and deeply saddened by--this.)

Power PA
- You Know You're From Pennsylvania If...

You've always called Philadelphia "Philly." And New Jersey has always been "Jersey."

You refer to Pennsylvania as "PA" (pronounced Pee-ay). How many other states do that?

You don't need a newscaster or weatherman to tell you who "Punxsutawney Phil" is.

You've experienced the first day of buck season and the first day of the State Fair as school holidays.

You can use the phrase "fire hall wedding reception" without batting an eye.

At least 5 people on your block have electric candles in their windows all year long.

You know what a Hex sign is.

You know what a State Store is. And your out-of-state friends find it incredible that you can't purchase liquor at the mini-mart.

You own only three condiments: salt, pepper and Heinz ketchup.

The words hoagie, crick, chipped ham, sticky buns, shoo-fly pie, pirogues and pocketbook actually mean something to you.

You can eat cold pizza -even for breakfast- and know others who do the same. (Those from NY find this barbaric.)

You have not only heard of Birch Beer, you know it comes in colors: Red, White, Brown, Gold.

You've never been to a wedding without hearing the "Chicken Dance," at least one Polka and either an Italian song (sung in Italian) or "Hava Nagila."

You know several places that serve Scrapple, Summer Sausage, Lebanon Bologna or Hot Bacon Dressing.

You can eat a cold soft pretzel from a street vendor without fear... and enjoy it.

You know the difference between a cheese steak and a pizza steak and a Primanti's, and that you can't get a really good one outside PA.

You live for summer, when street and county fairs--and downashore--signal the beginning of funnel cake season. And you know what funnel cake and downashore mean.

You've heard diner customers ask the waitress for "drippy eggs" for breakfast.

You know that Blue Ball, Intercourse, Climax, Bird-in-Hand, Beaver, Moon, Virginville, Paradise, Mars and Slippery Rock are PA towns.

You know what a township, borough and commonwealth are.

A local traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a horse-drawn carriage on Old Route 30 in Lancaster County.

You know several people who have hit a deer more than once.

You carry jumper cables in your car and know how to use them.

You still keep kitty litter, starter fluid, de-icer and a snow brush in your trunk, even if you live in the South.

Driving in the city is always better in winter because the potholes are filled with snow.

As a kid you built snow forts and leaf piles that were taller than you were.

Your high school yearbook contains a lot of Polish, German & Italian names.

You know how to respond to the question " 'jeetyet?" (Did you eat yet?)

You know how to pronounce Bryn Mawr, Wilkes-Barre, Schuylkill, Bala Cynwyd, Conshohocken and Monongahela.

You know what a "Mummer" is and even though you make fun of it, you're disappointed if you can't catch at least highlights of the parade.

"Youse guys" and "ynz" are perfectly acceptable ways to address a group of men and women.

Pennsylvania Trivia
Email from my sister



Blogger A Joyful Chaos said...

PA has got to be the best place to live! I could relate with almost everything on the list that assures you that you're from PA

Great post! Thanks for sharing.

11:20 AM  

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