Wednesday, August 17

The birthplace of America

Ahh, Philadelpia. I knew I loved thee. 

The President's House in Philadelphia
Our Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence there on July 4, 1776 and it served as one of the nation's many capitals during the Revolutionary War.

When the U.S. established its Constitution by signing it in Philadelphia on Sept. 17, 1787, the question of its capital city arose.

Many cities desired to be the national capital but none was willing to concede to the others. Also, there was rivalry between the proposed 13 States of the United States as to which one would contain the capital city.

A compromise was reached to establish a federal district separate from any of the states, and this would contain a brand-new city for the capital. The new capital district was given the name District of Columbia, and the capital city of Washington was founded within it.

After the July 1790 Residence Act, Philadelphia served as the temporary national capital for 10 years, beginning Aug. 17, 1790, during the construction of Washington, D.C.

President George Washington occupied The President's House in Philadelphia at 524-30 Market Street from November 1790 to March 1797, and President John Adams occupied it from March 1797 to May 1800.

Historic events at the house included the signing of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 (boo hiss!) and the Alien and Sedition Acts.

In 1793, one of the largest yellow fever epidemics in U.S. history killed as many as 5,000 people in Philadelphia, roughly 10 percent of the population.

The state government left Philadelphia in 1799 and the federal government left soon after in 1800, but the city continued to be a major force and maintain its reputation of Brotherly Love.

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