Phun Philly Phacts!

No philosophic views of the world this week. No reflective walks by the beach, no references to fall foliage and photographic wanderings, no BCP ideas, and no wistful musings about all the great people you will meet at DRI2013.

This week: Philadelphia! Yes, at long last I will provide information about a pretty special city where our conference will be held in June 4-7, 2013. I will also ask for your feedback, and there will be a quiz or two.   So let’s get started.

Fun facts Philadelphia (information borrowed from numerous web-sites…trust me I didn’t know most of this stuff):

  • Philadelphia, the “City of Brotherly Love,” got its name from one of its most famous citizens, William Penn, who saw his tract of land as a place where everyone from every background could live together in peace and harmony. The Greek “brotherly love,” or philos adelphos (loving brothers), became Philadelphia.
  • The 2,080-pound Liberty Bell cracked the first time it was rung in 1776 due to a casting flaw. The name Philadelphia inscribed on the bell was misspelled due to an engraver’s error.
  • True or false? ThePhiladelphia Museum of Art was made famous by being featured in the popular “Rocky” films, when Sylvester Stallone, as the boxer Rocky, made his famous training runs up the front steps. That’s true.
  • In 1777 Betsy Ross (born Elizabeth Griscom) created the first American flag in her humble upholstery shop in Philadelphia.
  • What first-of-its-kind club in the U.S. was formed in Philadelphia in 1766.   Answer: Fox Hunting – who knew?
  • Which popular condiment was first made in Philadelphia? Answer: In 1768, the interesting yellow spread, mustard, was first produced by Benjamin Jackson in Philadelphia.
  • True or false?   Benjamin Franklin founded the first zoo in America. True!The Philadelphia Zoo.
  • Also true, the first computer ever was born in Philadelphia!
  • Philadelphia was once the capital of the United States, and Congress Hall was where the U.S. Congress convened in that brief period.
  • The Declaration of Independence was first read at Philadelphia’s Independence Square
  • The United States’ first stock exchange wasn’t in New York; it was in Philadelphia.
  • For you baseball fans: On August 6, 1903, 12 people died and 232 were injured when the stadium at a game between Phillies and the Boston Braves at the Baker Bowl collapsed under the collective weight of fans who rushed to the top stands to investigate a brawl.
  • True or false? Philadelphia served as the nation’s temporary capital from 1790 until 1800. Washington served as president during this time, making him the only president who didn’t live in Washington, D.C. during his presidential years. That’s true.
  • Bill Cosby, Will Smith, Kevin Bacon, Richard Gere, and Peter Boyle are just some popular entertainers that were all born in the City of Brotherly Love.
  • Tom Hanks won an Oscar for his portrayal of a lawyer with AIDS in the film named after the city. What was the theme song from the film? Answer: Bruce Springsteen’s Streets of Philadelphia.
  • The first World’s Fair held in the U.S. was in Philadelphia in 1876.
  • What famous figure and master of sarcasm uttered the famous the phrase, “I’d rather be dead than be in Philadelphia.”? Answer: W. C. Fields.
  • One of the “Three Stooges” was born in Philadelphia. Which one was it? Answer: Larry Fine.

And so with the Three Stooges and W.C. Fields firmly implanted in your consciousness, I wish you all a great week.

Director of Volunteerism and Vice President