1612 The French explorer
Etienne Brule is believed to be the first European to see the Great
Lakes. Brule, believed to have been born in 1592, journeyed to North
America with Samuel de Champlain in 1608 and helped found Quebec.
Brule explored Lake Huron in 1612 and is believed to have also
explored Lakes Ontario, Erie and Superior after 1615. Brule is the
first European to live among the Indians and was probably the first
European to set foot in what is now Pennsylvania. Brule was
eventually killed by the Hurons, for reasons never known, in 1632.
1644 Oct 14, William Penn,
founder of Pennsylvania, or Penn's Woods, was born.
1681 Mar 4, England's King
Charles II granted a charter to William Penn (37) for 48,000 square
miles that later became Pennsylvania. Penn’s father had bequeathed
him a claim of £15,000 against the king. Penn later laid out the
city of Philadelphia as a gridiron about 2 miles long, east to west,
and a mile wide.
(PCh, 1992, p.259)(AP, 3/4/98)(SFEC, 8/16/98,
1682 Oct 26, William Penn
accepted the area around the Delaware River from Duke of York.
1682 Oct 29, The founder of
Pennsylvania, William Penn, landed at what is now Chester, Pa.
William Penn founded Philadelphia. Penn founded Pennsylvania as a
"Holy Experiment" based on Quaker principles.
(AP, 10/29/97)(SFEC, 6/21/98, Z1 p.8)(SSFC,
1682 William Penn established
Bucks County as one of Pennsylvania’s 3 original counties.
(WSJ, 3/22/08, p.R7)
1683 Jun 23, William Penn
signed a friendship treaty with Lenni Lenape Indians in
Pennsylvania. It became the only treaty "not sworn to, nor broken."
(HN, 6/23/98)(MC, 6/23/02)
1683 Oct 6, 13 Mennonite
families from Krefeld, Germany, arrived in present-day Philadelphia
to begin Germantown, one of America's oldest settlements. They were
encouraged by William Penn's offer of 5,000 acres of land in the
colony of Pennsylvania and the freedom to practice their religion.
1686 The Lenape Indians
allegedly sold land along the Lehigh River to William Penn.
(ON, 1/03, p.6)
1687 William Penn authored “The
Excellent Privilege of Liberty and Property Being the Birth-Right of
the Free-born subjects of England."
1688 Feb 18, At a Quaker
meeting in Germantown, Pa, German Mennonites penned a memorandum
stating a profound opposition to Negro slavery. Quakers in
Germantown, Pa., adopted the fist formal antislavery resolution in
1692 Mar 18, William Penn was
deprived of his governing powers.
1699 Jonathan Dickinson, after
resuming his mercantile business in Philadelphia, authored "God’s
Protecting Providence," a journal of his Florida ordeal.
(ON, 9/00, p.5)
1700 May 7, William Penn began
monthly meetings for Blacks advocating emancipation.
1701 Oct 28, William Penn presented a
Charter of Privileges for the Province of Pennsylvania during his
2nd and last visit to the colony. Among its provisions was one
establishing total religious freedom and tolerance to those who
wanted to live in peace in the colony. It remained as Pennsylvania's
constitution until the outbreak of the American Revolution
1712 Jun 7, The Pennsylvania
Assembly banned the importation of slaves.
1718 Jul 30, William Penn,
English Quaker, colonizer (No cross, no crown), died.
1720s The Ephrata Cloister communal society in
Amish country near Philadelphia was founded by a former elder of the
German Dunkers (German Baptists who later became the Church of the
1722 Quaker Jonathan Dickinson
died. He had become one of the wealthiest men in the city and served
as twice as mayor.
(ON, 9/00, p.5)
1726 Jul 23, Benjamin Franklin
sailed back to Philadelphia.
1726 Oct 11, Benjamin Franklin
returned to Philadelphia from England.
1730 Benjamin Franklin became
the official printer for Pennsylvania. He ultimately became the
official printer for several colonial governments.
(AH, 2/06, p.48)
1730s German gun makers located in Pennsylvania
began producing the Kentucky rifle, so named because it was intended
for use on the Kentucky frontier. Its gunpowder was ignited with
sparks struck when the hammer, containing a piece of flint, was
released. The flintlock Kentucky rifle, with its extra long barrel
and small caliber, was the most accurate rifle of its day and was
used widely in the French and Indian Wars and American Revolution.
1731 Jul 1, The “Instrument of
Association" for the Library Company of Philadelphia was signed
under the leadership of Benjamin Franklin. It was America’s first
1732 Feb 26, The 1st mass
celebrated in American Catholic church was at St Joseph's Church,
1732 Nov 14, 1st US
professional librarian, Louis Timothee, was hired in Phila.
1732 Dec 28, The first Poor
Richard's Almanac was published along with the 1st known ad in the
Pennsylvania Gazette. The Almanack was published by Richard Saunders
(really Ben Franklin). [see Dec 19]
(HFA, '96, p.20)(MC, 12/28/01)
1733 The Pennsylvania city of
Reading became one of America's first producers of iron and was for
nearly a century the foremost in the country. Settled in 1733 by the
sons of William Penn, the city is situated on the Schuylkill River
in the southeastern part of the state. The Reading foundries
furnished cannon for the American forces in the Revolutionary War
and the Union during the Civil War.
1738 Benjamin Franklin wrote in
Poor Richard's Almanack "Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor
Liberty to purchase power."
1740 Sep 11, The first mention
of an African American doctor or dentist in the colonies was made in
the Pennsylvania Gazette.
1741 Feb 13, Andrew Bradford of
Pennsylvania published the first American magazine. Titled "The
American Magazine, or A Monthly View of the Political State of the
British Colonies." Bradford introduced his American Magazine just
days before Benjamin Franklin founded his periodical called General
Magazine in Philadelphia. Bradford’s survived 3 months while
Franklin’s survived for 6 months.
(HFA, '96, p.24)(HNQ, 9/3/98)(AP, 2/13/01)
1741 Feb 16, Benjamin
Franklin's General Magazine (2nd US Mag) began publishing.
1743 Benjamin Franklin and John
Bartram founded the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia
as an American counterpart to the British Royal Society.
1745 Dec 24, Benjamin Rush,
American medical pioneer and signer of the Declaration of
Independence, was born in Byberry, Pa.
(HN, 12/24/98)(MC, 12/24/01)
1746 Linden Hall, a girls’
boarding school, opened in Lititz, Pa.
(SSFC, 4/13/03, p.D6)
1750 Benjamin Franklin drew up
plans for a “sentry box," designed to prove his theory that
lightning as an electrical phenomenon.
(ON, 2/12, p.11)
1750 Teedyuscung, a Lenape
Indian, joined the Christian mission of Gnadenhutten, founded by
Swiss Moravian settlers in the Lehigh Valley town of Bethlehem.
(ON, 1/03, p.6)
1751 May 11, The 1st US
hospital was founded in Pennsylvania. [see Feb 11, 1752]
1752 Jan 1, Betsy Ross
(d.1836), flag maker who contributed to the design of the American
flag, was born in Philadelphia as Elizabeth Griscom.
1752 Feb 11, Pennsylvania
Hospital, the 1st hospital in the US, opened.
1752 May 11, The 1st US fire
insurance policy issued in Philadelphia.
1752 May, Dutch botanist Thomas
Francois Dalibard (1709-1799) successfully performed Benjamin
Franklin’s “sentry box" experiment proving that lightning is an
1752 Jun 15, Benjamin Franklin
and his son tested the relationship between electricity and
lightning by flying a kite in a thunder storm. Some sources date
this to June 10.
1752 Sep 1, The Liberty Bell
arrived in Philadelphia.
1752 In the summer of this year
Benjamin Franklin installed the world’s 1st lightning rods at the
Pennsylvania State House.
(WSJ, 8/15/05, p.D8)
1753 Dec 12, George Washington,
the adjutant of Virginia, delivered an ultimatum to the French
forces at Fort Le Boeuf, south of Lake Erie, reiterating Britain’s
claim to the entire Ohio river valley.
1753 Dec 14, French Captain
Jacques Le Gardeur rejected the pretensions of the English to
ownership of the Ohio Valley, but promised to forward Virginia Gov.
Dinwiddie’s letter of trespass to his superiors in Canada.
(ON, 9/05, p.2)
1753 The Georgian-style
colonial legislature (later Pennsylvania State House) was completed
at 520 Chestnut St. in Philadelphia for the Province of
Pennsylvania. It became the location where both the Declaration of
Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and
adopted and thus became known as Independence Hall.
(SSFC, 5/25/14, p.P5)
1753 Benjamin Franklin use the
pages of his Poor Richard’s Almanac to make a case for using
lightning rods atop tall structures making storms less dangerous.
(WSJ, 8/15/05, p.D8)
1754 Jan 6, Major George
Washington, while returning to Virginia, encountered a party of
English settlers and militiamen at Will’s Creek sent by Gov.
Dinwiddie to establish a fort and trading post at the Forks of the
(ON, 9/05, p.2)
1754 Apr 2, A small
expeditionary force of 159 men under Lt. Col. George Washington
arrived at Will’s Creek and learned that the French had taken over
the new Fort Prince George at the Forks of the Ohio from British
soldiers and frontiersmen and renamed it Fort Duquesne.
(ON, 9/05, p.2)
1754 Apr, Teedyuscung, a Lenape
Indian, joined the Iraquois Indians in the Wyoming Valley along the
banks of the Susquehanna River.
(ON, 1/03, p.6)
1754 May 9, The first American
newspaper cartoon was published. The illustration in Benjamin
Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette showed a snake cut into sections,
each part representing an American colony; the caption read, "Join
(AP, 5/9/97)(HN, 5/9/98)
1754 May 28, Col. George
Washington led a 40-man detachment that defeated French and Indian
forces in a skirmish near Great Meadows, Pa.
(ON, 9/05, p.3)
1754 Jun 19, The Albany
Congress opened. New York colonial Gov. George Clinton called for
the meeting to discuss better relations with Indian tribes and
common defensive measures against the French. The attendees included
Indians and representatives from Connecticut, Maryland,
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode
Island. Benjamin Franklin attended and presented his Plan of Union,
which was adopted by the conference. The meeting ended on July 11.
1754 Jul 3, George Washington
surrendered the small, circular Fort Necessity (later Pittsburgh) in
southwestern Pennsylvania to the French, leaving them in control of
the Ohio Valley. This marked the beginning of the French and Indian
War also called the 7 Years' War. In 2005 Fred Anderson authored
“The War That Made America: A Short History of the French and Indian
(HN, 7/13/98)(Arch, 1/05, p.46)(WSJ, 12/14/05,
1754 Nov 29, The Gnadenhutten
mission, Pa., was attacked by renegade Lenape Indians and 11 white
people were killed.
(ON, 1/03, p.7)
1755 Jul 9, General Edward
Braddock was mortally wounded when French and Indian troops ambushed
his force of British regulars and colonial militia, which was on its
way to attack France's Fort Duquesne (Pittsburgh). Gen. Braddock's
troops were decimated at Fort Duquesne, where he refused to accept
Washington's advice on frontier style fighting. British Gen'l.
Braddock gave his bloody sash to George Washington at Fort Necessity
just before he died on Jul 13.
(A & IP, ESM, p.11)(HN, 7/9/98)(WSJ, 1/5/98,
1755 Jul 13, Edward Braddock
(60), British general, died following the July 9, 1755 battle at
Fort Duquesne (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania). Out of the 1,400 British
soldiers who were in involved in the battle, 900 of them died.
Future President George Washington carried Braddock from the field
and officiated at his burial ceremony. The general was buried in a
road his men had built. The army then marched over the grave to
obliterate any traces of it and continued to eastern Pennsylvania.
After the French and Indian War (1754-1763), the Braddock Road
remained a main road. In 1804, some workmen discovered human remains
in the road near where Braddock was supposed to have been buried.
The remains were re-interred on a small knoll adjacent to the road.
In 1913 the marker was placed there. Braddock was born in
Perthshire, Scotland, about 1695, the son of Major-General Edward
Braddock (died 1725).
1755 Dec 31, Teedyuscung, a
Lenape Indian, led 30 Lenape Indians on a raid against English
plantations along the Delaware River. Over the next few days his
band killed 7 men and took 5 prisoners.
(ON, 1/03, p.6)
1755 Benjamin Franklin, a
patriot of the American Revolution, served as a colonel of the
Pennsylvania militia in the French and Indian War. Benjamin
Franklin, at forty-nine, had already lived through two wars between
the French and the English and their colonists. His face was puffy
and smooth from gout, his once-powerful swimmer’s body overweight
and rounded into a barrel shape.
1756 Jun 4, Quakers left the
assembly of Pennsylvania.
1756 Nov 12, Teedyuscung, a
Lenape Indian, spoke with Gov. Denny at Easton, Pa., to discuss
(ON, 1/03, p.6)
1756 German-speaking Moravians
founded the town of Lititz, 35 miles southeast of Harrisburg, Pa.
Non-Moravians were not allowed to live there until 1855.
(SSFC, 4/13/03, p.D6)
1757 Benjamin Franklin
(1706-1790) helped set up America’s first street cleaning service in
(Econ, 2/28/09, SR p.5)
1757 Benjamin Franklin sailed
for England. He spent almost two decades there as colonial agent, a
combination lobbyist, ambassador, and banker, for Pennsylvania and,
eventually Georgia, New Jersey and Massachusetts. He lived in London
at 36 Craven St.
(WSJ, 8/8/95, p. A12)(USAT, 9/22/03, p.16A)
1758 Nov 25, In the French and
Indian War British forces under General John Forbes captured Fort
Duquesne (the site of present day Pittsburgh, est. 1754). George
Washington participated in the campaign. Forbes renamed the site
Fort Pitt after William Pitt the Elder, who directed British
military policy in the Seven Years' War of 1756-'63. Before his
arrival, the French had burned the fort and retreated.
(AP, 11/25/97)(ON, 9/05, p.5)(HNQ, 7/17/98)
1758 Feb 15, The 1st mustard
manufactured in America was advertised in Philadelphia.
(440 Int’l., 2/15/99)(HCB, 2003, p. 94)
1760 Feb 14, Richard Allen
(d.1831), 1st black ordained by a Methodist-Episcopal church, was
born in Philadelphia.
1760s-1770s John Cadwalader, Revolutionary War
General, commissioned dozens of furniture pieces from the finest
craftsmen in Pennsylvania. He had married Elizabeth Lloyd, the
wealthiest woman in colonial America.
(WSJ, 9/24/99, p.W9)
1761 French and Indians forces
in the Ohio Valley were defeated.
(ON, 1/03, p.7)
1762 Benjamin Franklin returned
to Philadelphia from London and remained until 1764.
1763 Apr 19, Teedyuscung, a
Lenape Indian leader, burned to death while sleeping in his cabin in
the Wyoming Valley, Pa. The fire destroyed the whole Indian village.
A few days later settlers from Connecticut arrived to resume their
construction of a town.
(ON, 1/03, p.6)
1763 May 7, Indian chief
Pontiac began his attack on a British fort in present-day Detroit,
Michigan. Ottawa Chief Pontiac led an uprising in the wild, distant
lands that later became Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
(HN, 7/24/98)(HN, 5/7/99)
1763 Aug 5, Colonel Henry
Bouquet decisively defeated the Indians at the Battle of Bushy Run
in Pennsylvania during Pontiac's rebellion.
1763 Nov 15, Charles Mason and
Jeremiah Dixon began surveying Mason-Dixon Line between Pennsylvania
and Maryland. They surveyed 233 miles by 1767 when Indians of the
Six nations told them they could not proceed any further west.
(MC, 11/15/01)(ON, 2/04, p.10)
1767 Oct 9, The survey party of
Mason and Dixon came to a halt after 233 miles when Indians of the
Six Nations said they had reached the end of their commission. [see
(ON, 2/04, p.10)
1767 Oct 18, The boundary
between Maryland and Pennsylvania, the Mason-Dixon line, was agreed
upon. It was first surveyed in 1763 to 1767 by two British
astronomers, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, in order to settle a
dispute between the Calvert and Penn families, the owners at that
time of the two states in question. The survey, begun in 1763 and
completed four years later, done by English surveyors Charles Mason
and Jeremiah Dixon to resolve a land-grant boundary dispute between
the families of Lord Baltimore and William Penn, resulted in the
Mason-Dixon Line. The line, extended in 1784, came to be known as
the dividing line between free-soil states and slave states.
(AP, 10/18/97)(HNQ, 9/8/99)
1771 Jun 12, Patrick Gass, Sgt.
of Lewis & Clark Expedition, was born in Falling Springs, PA.
1773 Feb 26, Construction was
authorized for Walnut St. jail in Philadelphia, (1st solitary).
1773 Dec 26, Expulsion of tea
ships from Philadelphia.
1774 Jul 12, Citizens of
Carlisle, Penn., passed a declaration of independence.
1774 Sep 5, The first
Continental Congress assembled in Philadelphia in a secret session
in Carpenter's Hall with representatives from every colony except
Georgia. Tensions had been tearing at relations between the
colonists and the government of King George III. The British taking
singular exception to the 1773 shipboard tea party held in Boston
harbor. The dispute convinced Britain to pass the "Intolerable
Acts"- 4 of which were to punish Mass. for the Boston Tea Party.
Peyton Randolph of Williamsburg, Va., chaired the 1st Continental
Congress. Its first official act was a call to prayer.
(AP, 9/5/97)(HNQ, 6/25/00)(AH, 10/04, p.14)(AH,
1774 Sep 26, John Chapman
(d.1845), later known as Johnny Appleseed, was born in
Massachusetts. A pioneer agriculturalist of early America,
Chapman began his trek in 1797, collecting apple seedlings from
western Pennsylvania and establishing apple nurseries around the
early American frontier. Chapman was a Swedenborgian missionary, a
land speculator, a heavy drinker and an eccentric dresser (he hated
shoes and seldom wore them. He planted orchards across western
Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana from seed.
p.42)(HNQ, 9/4/01)(ON, 4/09, p.10)
1774 Oct 26, The first
Continental Congress, which protested British measures and called
for civil disobedience, concluded in Philadelphia. The Congress had
met at the Philadelphia Carpenter's Hall.
(AP, 10/26/97)(HN, 10/26/98)(SFEC, 2/20/00, Z1
1774 Nov, Thomas Paine, English
pamphleteer, arrived in Philadelphia. He had been urged to come to
America by Ben Franklin.
(ON, 6/2011, p.1)
1775 Feb, Englishman Thomas
Paine became editor of the Pennsylvania Magazine, owned by printer
(ON, 6/2011, p.1)
1775 Apr 13, Lord North
extended the New England Restraining Act to South Carolina,
Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. The act forbade
trade with any country other than Britain and Ireland.
1775 Apr 14, The first American
society for the abolition of slavery was organized by Benjamin
Franklin and Benjamin Rush in Philadelphia.
(AP, 4/14/97) (HN, 4/14/98)
1775 May 5, Benjamin Franklin
arrived in Philadelphia, from London where he had lived since 1757.
He soon began working with Thomas Paine on a pamphlet urging
independence from Britain, an idea proposed by physician Benjamin
(AH, 2/06, p.52)(ON, 6/2011, p.2)
1775 May 10, The Second
Continental Congress convened in Pennsylvania. It named George
Washington as supreme commander. Benjamin Franklin represented
Pennsylvania soon presented his reworked Plan of Union under the
title The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union.
1775 Jul 26, The Continental
Congress established a postal system for the colonies with Benjamin
Franklin as the first postmaster general in Philadelphia.
(AP, 7/26/97)(HN, 7/26/98)
1776 Jul 4, The Continental
Congress approved adoption of the amended Declaration of
Independence, prepared by Thomas Jefferson and signed by John
Hancock--President of the Continental Congress--and Charles Thomson,
Congress secretary, without dissent. However, the New York
delegation abstained as directed by the New York Provisional
Congress. On July 9, the New York Congress voted to endorse the
declaration. On July 19, Congress then resolved to have the
"Unanimous Declaration" inscribed on parchment for the signature of
the delegates. Among the signers of the Declaration of Independence,
two went on to become presidents of the United States, John Adams
and Thomas Jefferson. The Declaration of Independence was signed by
president of Congress John Hancock and secretary Charles Thomson.
John Hancock said, "There, I guess King George will be able to read
that." referring to his signature on the Declaration of
Independence. Most delegates signed the parchment copy on August 2.
Other signers later included Benjamin Rush and Robert Morris. Of the
56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, eight were born
outside North America. In 2007 David Armitage authored “The
Declaration of Independence: A Global History."
1/4/07, p.B11)(SFC, 7/4/13, p.A14)
1776 Jul 5, The Declaration of
Independence was first printed by John Dunlop in Philadelphia. 200
copies were prepared July 5-6 and distributed to the states.
(HN, 7/5/98)(HNQ, 7/4/99)(SFC, 7/4/01, p.A3)
1776 Jul 6, The US Declaration
of Independence was announced on the front page of "PA Evening
1776 Jul 8, Col. John Nixon
gave the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence to
a crowd gathered at Independence Square in Philadelphia. The reading
was announced by the "Liberty Bell." The bell had the inscription:
"proclaim liberty throughout all the land onto all the inhabitants
(AP, 7/8/97)(SFEC, 8/16/98, p.T5)
1776 Aug 2, In
Philadelphia most members of the Continental Congress began
attaching their signatures to the parchment copy of the Declaration
of Independence. Benjamin Harrison was one of the signers. His son
and grandson later became the 9th and 23rd presidents of the US.
Most of the 55 signatures were affixed on August 2, but Matthew
Thornton of New Hampshire, who was not a member of Congress when the
declaration was adopted, added his name in November.
(Civil., Jul-Aug., '95, p.61)(SFC, 5/7/96,
p.A-6)(AP, 8/2/97)(HNQ, 7/4/99)
1775 Dec 18-1775 Dec 27, In
Philadelphia Benjamin Franklin, John Jay and Francis Daymon, members
of the Committee of Secret Correspondence, met 3 times at
Carpenter’s Hall with French agent Chevalier Julien-Alexandre Achard
de Bonvouloir regarding French support for American Independence.
(AH, 2/06, p.58)
1775 Nov 10, The US Marines
were organized under authority of the Continental Congress. Congress
commissioned Samuel Nicholas to raise two Battalions of Marines.
That very day, Nicholas set up shop in Philadelphia’s Tun Tavern. He
appointed Robert Mullan, then the proprietor of the tavern, to the
job of chief Marine Recruiter serving, of course, from his place of
business at Tun Tavern.
1776 Jan 10, Thomas Paine
(1737-1809), British émigré and propagandist, anonymously published
"Common Sense," a scathing attack on King George III's reign over
the colonies and a call for complete independence. The first 1,000
sold within days at 2 shillings. By the end of the year some 150,000
copies were sold, greatly affecting public sentiment and the
deliberations of the Continental Congress leading up to the
Declaration of Independence. An instant bestseller in both the
colonies and in Britain, Paine baldly stated that King George III
was a tyrant and that Americans should shed any sentimental
attachment to the monarchy. America, he argued, had a moral
obligation to reject monarchy.
1/10/98)(ON, 6/2011, p.3)
1776 Mar 2, The American Secret
Committee of Correspondence appointed Connecticut lawyer Silas Deane
as a special envoy to negotiate with the French government for aid.
(AH, 2/06, p.59)
1776 Dec 2, George Washington's
army began retreating across the Delaware River from New Jersey to
Pennsylvania. In 2004 David Hackett Fischer authored "Washington's
(WSJ, 2/6/04, p.W8)
1776 Dec 8, George Washington's
retreating army in the American Revolution crossed the Delaware
River from New Jersey to Pennsylvania.
1776 Dec 23, Thomas Paine’s
pamphlet, “The American Crisis," which included the line "These are
the times that try men's souls…" was read out loud by George
Washington to the Continental Army.
(ON, 6/2011, p.4)
1776 Dec 25, Gen. George
Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware River for a surprise
attack against Hessian forces at Trenton, N.J.
1776 The Quakers of
Pennsylvania abolished slavery within the Society of Friends and
then took their crusade to society at large by petitioning the state
legislature to outlaw the practice.
(AH, 10/02, p.50)
1777 Jun 14, The Continental
Congress in Philadelphia adopted the Stars and Stripes as the
national flag. America's Flag Day, commemorates the date when John
Adams spoke the following words before the Continental Congress in
Philadelphia. "Resolved, that the Flag of the thirteen United States
shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union
be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new
constellation." Over the years, there have been 27 versions of the
American flag. The present version was adopted on July 4, 1960, when
Hawaii became the 50th state.
(AP, 6/14/97)(HNQ, 6/14/98)
1777 Jul 4, No member of
Congress thought about commemorating the adoption of the Declaration
of Independence until July 3 - one day too late. So the first
organized elaborate celebration of independence occurred the
following day: July 4, 1777, in Philadelphia.
1777 Sep 11, General George
Washington and his troops were defeated by the British under General
Sir William Howe at the Battle of Brandywine in Pennsylvania. Posing
as a gunsmith, British Sergeant John Howe served as General Gage's
eyes in a restive Massachusetts colony.
1777 Sep 20, British Dragoons
massacred sleeping Continental troops at Paoli, Pa.
1777 Sep 26, The British army
launched a major offensive during the American Revolution, capturing
1777 Sep 30, The Congress of
the United States, forced to flee in the face of advancing British
forces, moved to York, Pennsylvania.
1777 Oct 4, George Washington's
troops launched an assault on the British at Germantown, Penn.,
resulting in heavy American casualties. British General Sir William
Howe repelled Washington's last attempt to retake Philadelphia,
compelling Washington to spend the winter at Valley Forge.
(AP, 10/4/97)(HN, 10/4/98)
1777 Nov 15, The Continental
Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation in York, Pa. These
instituted the perpetual union of the United States of America and
served as a precursor to the U.S. Constitution. The structure of the
Constitution was inspired by the Iroquois Confederacy of six major
northeastern tribes. The matrilineal society of the Iroquois later
inspired the suffragist movement.
(PCh, 1992, p.325)(AP, 11/15/97)(SFEC, 4/19/98,
BR p.2)(HN, 11/15/98)
1777 Dec 2, British officers
under Gen. Howe met in the Philadelphia home of Lydia Darragh to
discuss plans to the attack American forces on December 5, just
prior to Gen. Washington’s planned move to Valley Forge. Mrs.
Darragh listened in on the plans and sent word to Whitemarsh of the
(ON, 8/07, p.8)
1777 Dec 5, A British advance
column met unexpected resistance at Germantown, Penn. Gen. Howe
refrained from a direct attack on Whitemarsh, where Gen. Wasinington
was based, and the battle dissolved in a series of inconclusive
skirmishes that lasted 3 days. The Americans lost 90 men killed or
wounded and the British lost 60.
(ON, 8/07, p.8)
1777 Dec 8, Britain’s Gen. Howe
withdrew to Philadelphia following a failed attempt on American
forces encamped at Whitemarsh.
(ON, 8/07, p.8)
1777 Dec 19, Gen. George
Washington led his army of about 11,000 men to Valley Forge, Pa., to
camp for the winter. [see Dec 17]
1777 George Washington led a
campaign against the British and their Iroquois allies in
Pennsylvania, New York, and the Ohio country. These included the Six
Nations Indians: Mohawk, Cayuga, Onondaga, Seneca, Oneida, and
Tuscarora. In 2005 Glenn F. Williams published “The Year of the
Hangman: George Washington’s Campaign Against the Iroquois.
(WSJ, 7/26/05, p.D8)
1777-1778 Some 2,000 American soldiers died at
Washington’s Valley Forge encampment over a harsh weather period of
(WSJ, 1/3/02, p.A7)
1778 Jun 18, American forces
entered Philadelphia as the British withdrew during the
(AP, 6/18/97)(HN, 6/18/98)
1778 Jun 19, General George
Washington’s troops finally left Valley Forge after a winter of
training. Washington left to intercept the British force on its way
to New York City.
(HN, 6/19/98)(MC, 6/20/02)
1778 Jun 27, The Liberty Bell
came home to Philadelphia after the British left.
1778 Jun, George Washington
appointed Benedict Arnold as military governor of Philadelphia.
(ON, 11/01, p.1)
1778 Jul 3, The Wyoming
Massacre occurred during the American Revolution in the Wyoming
Valley of Pennsylvania. As part of a British campaign against
settlers in the frontier during the war, 360 American settlers,
including women and children, were killed at an outpost called
Wintermoot's Fort after they were drawn out of the protection of the
fort and ambushed.
(HNQ, 11/5/98)(MC, 7/3/02)
1778 Sep 17, The 1st treaty
between the US and Indian tribes was signed at Fort Pitt.
1779 May 23, Benedict Arnold,
military governor of Philadelphia, wrote a query to the British
asking what they would pay for his services. He had already begun
trading with the British for personal profit and faced charges.
(ON, 11/01, p.1)
1779 Dec 25, A court-martial
was convened against Benedict Arnold. He defended himself
successfully on 6 of 8 charges but was convicted of illegally
issuing a government pass and using government wagons to transport
(ON, 11/01, p.2)
1780 Mar 1, Pennsylvania
became the first U.S. state to abolish slavery (for new-borns only).
It was followed by Connecticut and Rhode Island in 1784, New York in
1785, and New Jersey in 1786. Massachusetts abolished slavery
through a judicial decision in 1783 (see July 8 1777).
1780 Apr, George Washington
censured Benedict Arnold for his misdeeds as governor of
(ON, 11/01, p.2)
1782 Jan 7, The 1st US
commercial bank, Bank of North America, opened in Philadelphia.
1782 Jun 20, Congress approved
the Great Seal of the United States and the eagle as its symbol.
(AP, 6/20/97)(MC, 6/20/02)
1783 May 30, The first American
daily newspaper, The Pennsylvania Evening Post, began publishing in
1785 Jan 6, Haym Salomon (44)
died in Philadelphia. He helped finance the US revolution.
1785 Mar 1, Philadelphia
Society for the Promotion of Agriculture was organized.
1785 May 9, James Pollard Espy,
meteorologist (Philosophy of Storms), was born in Pennsylvania.
1785 Oct 18, Benjamin Franklin
was elected president of Pennsylvania. Special balloting unanimously
elected Franklin the sixth President of the Supreme Executive
Council of Pennsylvania, replacing John Dickinson.
1787 Apr 12, Philadelphia's
Free African Society formed.
1787 May 25, The Constitutional
Convention convened in Philadelphia after enough delegates showed up
for a quorum. The Founding Fathers turned to the Rushworth's
Collections of England for revolutionary precedents. George
Washington presided. [see May 25, 1777] Rhode Island refused to send
(AP, 5/25/97)(WSJ, 3/10/99, p.A22)(HN,
5/25/99)(Econ, 9/16/06, p.44)
1787 Aug 6, The Constitutional
Convention in Philadelphia began to debate the articles contained in
a draft of the United States Constitution.
1787 Sep 17, The Constitution
of the United States was completed and signed by a majority of
delegates (12) attending the constitutional convention in
Philadelphia. The US Constitution went into effect on Mar 4, 1789.
Clause 3 of Article I, Section 8 empowered Congress to "regulate
Commerce with foreign nations, among the several states, and with
the Indian Tribes." Two of the signers went on to become presidents
of the United States. George Washington, the president of the
Constitutional Convention, and James Madison both signed the
Constitution. The US Constitution is the world's oldest working
Constitution. George Mason of Virginia refused to sign the document
because he thought it made the federal government too powerful
believed that it should contain a Bill of Rights.
(AP, 9/17/97)(WUD, 1994, p.314)(WSJ,
4/9/99, p.W17)(HNQ, 5/19/99)(WSJ, 3/31/06, p.A1)
1787 Sep 17, The US
Constitution included the Connecticut, or "Great," Compromise in
which every state was conceded an equal vote in the Senate
irrespective of its size, but representation in the House was to be
on the basis of the "federal ratio," an enumeration of the free
population plus three fifths of the slaves.
(SSFC, 11/2/03, p.M6)
1787 Sep 17, The "College of
Electors" (electoral college) was established at the Constitutional
Convention with representatives to be chosen by the states. Pierce
Butler of South Carolina first proposed the electoral college
system. [see Sep 13, 1788]
(SFC, 11/9/00, p.A14)(WSJ, 11/9/00, p.A26)
1787 Sep 17, The Electoral
College, proposed by James Wilson, was the compromise that the
Constitutional Convention reached. In 2004 George C. Edwards III
authored “Why the Electoral College Is Bad for America."
1787 Dec 10, Thomas H.
Gallaudet, a pioneer of educating the deaf, was born in
1787 Dec 12, Pennsylvania
became the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
1787 Peter Markoe (1752?-1792)
authored “An Algerine Spy in Pennsylvania." His satirical
provocation helped to push the US Congress authorized a Navy and to
dispatch Marines to subdue the pirates of Tripoli.
(WSJ, 6/2/07, p.P8)
1787 Rev. Richard Allen and
Absalom Jones decided to form the Free African Society, a
non-denominational religious mutual aid society for the black
community. Eventually this society grew into the African Church of
1789 Mar 2, Pennsylvania ended
the prohibition of theatrical performances.
1789 Dec 28, Lydia Darrragh
(b.1729), American spy, died in Philadelphia. Her exploits in 1777
did not become public until the publication of an anonymous article
1790 Mar 1, President
Washington signed a measure authorizing the first US Census. The
Connecticut Compromise was a proposal for two houses in the
legislature-one based on equal representation for each state, the
other for population-based representation-that resolved the dispute
between large and small states at the Constitutional Convention.
Connecticut delegate Roger Sherman's proposal led to the first
nationwide census in 1790. The population was determined to be
3,929,625, which included 697,624 slaves and 59,557 free blacks. The
most populous state was Virginia, with 747,610 people and the most
populous city was Philadelphia with 42,444 inhabitants. The average
cost of this year’s census was 1.13 cents per person.
1790 Apr 17, Benjamin Franklin
(born 1706), American statesman, died in Philadelphia at age 84. He
mechanized the process of making sounds from tuned glass with his
glass armonica. In 2000 H.W. Brands authored his Franklin biography:
"The First American." In 2003 Walter Isaacson authored "Benjamin
Franklin: An American Life."
(AP, 4/17/97)(SFEC,12/28/97, DB p.17)(WSJ,
9/20/00, p.A24)(WSJ, 7/3/03, p.D8)
1790 Jun 9, The "Philadelphia
Spelling Book" was the first US work to be copyrighted.
(WSJ, 6/14/00, p.A1)(MC, 6/9/02)
1790 Aug 2, The enumeration for
the first US census began. It showed that 3,929,326 people were
living in the US of which 697,681 were slaves, and that the largest
cities were New York City with 33,000 inhabitants; Philadelphia,
with 28,000; Boston, with 18,000; Charleston, South Carolina, with
16,000; and Baltimore, with 13,000. Census records for Delaware,
Georgia, New Jersey, and Virginia were lost sometime between 1790
1790 Dec 6, Congress moved from
New York City to Philadelphia, where Washington served out his two
terms. He is the only president who never resided in the White
(AP, 12/6/97)(HNPD, 12/22/98)
1791 Mar 11, Samuel Mulliken of
Philadelphia was the 1st to obtain more than 1 US patent.
1791 Apr 23, James Buchanan,
was born in Franklin County, Pa. He was the fifteenth U.S. president
(1857-1861) and the only president not to marry.
(AP, 4/23/97)(HN, 4/23/99)
1791 Jul 25, Free African
Society (FAS) leaders drew up a plan to organize a church for
1791 William Sprague opened the
1st US carpet mill in Philadelphia.
(SFCM, 10/10/04, p.8)
1793 Jan 9, The first US manned
balloon flight occurred as Frenchman Jean Pierre Blanchard, using a
hot-air balloon, flew between Philadelphia and Woodbury, N.J. He
stayed airborne for 46 minutes, traveled close to 15 miles and set
down at the "old Clement farm" in Deptford, New Jersey. [see Jun 23,
1784, Mar 9, 1793]
(WSJ, 3/31/98, p.A1)(AP, 1/9/99)(ON, 6/09, p.2)
1793 Jun 20, Eli Whitney
petitioned for a cotton gin patent in Philadelphia.
1793 The 1st US half-cent and
one cent coins were minted in Philadelphia. For almost 6 decades the
obverse side carried an image of Lady Liberty. The first coins were
related to the silver dollar. The half-dollar contained half as much
silver, the quarter had one-fourth as much. The dime had a 10th and
the half dime has a 20th as much silver as the dollar. Only the
penny was made of copper. In 1866 the Mint decided to produce a
larger five-cent coin. In 2012 a one-cent copper coin minted this
year fetched $1 million at a Florida auction. By 2018 only
about 500 pennies were left in existence and one put up for auction
was valued at $300,000.
(SFC, 9/11/96, p.A4)(WSJ, 12/12/03, p.W15)(SSFC,
9/27/09, Par p.25)(AP, 1/8/12)(SFC, 1/6/18, p.A6)
1793 There was a yellow fever
epidemic in Philadelphia. About 5,000 people were killed. Stephen
Girard risked his life and fortune in stopping the epidemic.
(WSJ, 1/2/97, p.6)(Econ, 5/14/16, p.52)
1794 Feb 14, 1st US textile
machinery patent was granted, to James Davenport in Phila.
1794 May, Richard Allen
purchased a blacksmith shop in Philadelphia and had it moved near
St. Thomas. There he founded an African Methodist Episcopal (AME)
church he called Bethel, "House of God." The Mother Bethel African
Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia was founded by Richard
Allen after he was pulled from his knees one Sunday by a white usher
while praying at St. George Methodist Episcopal Church. It later
stood as the oldest parcel of land continuously owned by African
Americans. The Richard Allen Museum contains 19th century artifacts
from the church. In 1997 it was the world’s oldest AME church. The
church elected its first female bishop in 2000.
(SFC, 6/24/96, p.A19)(SFC, 7/12/00,
1794 Jul 17, In Philadelphia
the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, one of the first black
churches in the country, opened its doors.
1794 Aug 7, George Washington
issued a proclamation telling a group of Western Pennsylvania
farmers to stop their Whiskey Rebellion. In the US in western
Pennsylvania, angry farmers protested a new federal tax on whiskey
makers. The protest flared into the open warfare known as the
Whiskey Rebellion between US marshals and whiskey farmers.
ESM, p.16)(HNQ, 10/14/99)
1794 French Azilum near Towanda
was planned as an asylum for Marie-Antoinette, her children and
other loyalists of the monarchy seeking refuge from the French
Revolution. Loyalists who kept their heads did come and settle.
(HT, 5/97, p.18)
1797 Jul 10, 1st US frigate,
the "United States," was launched in Philadelphia.
1798 Jan 30, A brawl broke out
in the House of Representatives in Philadelphia. Matthew Lyon of
Vermont spat in the face of Roger Griswold of Connecticut, who
responded by attacking him with a hickory walking stick. Lyon was
re-elected congressman while serving a jail sentence for violating
the Sedition Acts of 1798.
(AP, 1/30/98)(SFC, 4/27/00, p.A5)(WSJ, 10/29/04,
1798 The first big US bank
robbery was at the Philadelphia Carpenter's Hall, which was leased
to the Bank of Philadelphia.
(SFEC, 2/20/00, Z1 p.2)
1799 Feb 15, The 1st US printed
ballots were authorized in Pennsylvania.
(440 Int’l., 2/15/99)
1803 Feb 14, An apple parer was
patented by Moses Coats in Downington, Penn.
1803 Sep 13, Commodore John
Barry, considered by many the father of the American Navy, died in
1804 Feb 6, Joseph Priestley
(b.1733), English-born US writer, philosopher and chemist, died in
Pennsylvania. He became best known for having discovered oxygen.
Priestley also figured out how to manufacture carbonated water and
is sometimes called “the father of the soft-drink industry." In 2008
Steven Johnson authored “The Invention of Air: A Story of Science,
Faith, Revolution, and the Birth of America."
10/05, p.1)(SFC, 1/9/09, p.E3)
1805 The Philadelphia harbor
was dredged with a high-pressure steam engine invented by Oliver
Evans. He was unable to get a proper patent for it.
(WSJ, 6/4/08, p.A19)
1806 Shoemakers in Philadelphia
formed a union.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R27)
1807 May 22, Townsend Speakman
1st sold fruit-flavored carbonated drinks in Phila.
1808 Feb 11, Anthracite coal
was 1st burned as fuel, experimentally, in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
1810 Feb 28, The 1st US fire
insurance joint-stock company was organized in Philadelphia.
1810 Apr 17, Lewis Norton of
Troy, PA., introduced his pineapple cheese.
(440 Int'l, 4/17/03)
1811 Oct 29, The 1st Ohio River
steamboat left Pittsburgh for New Orleans.
1811 A group of amateur
naturalists formed the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia.
(AH, 10/04, p.20)
1812 Dec 4, Peter Gaillard of
Lancaster, Pa., patented a horse-drawn mower.
1812 The steamboat New Orleans
was built in Pittsburgh and steamed to New Orleans but lacked
sufficient power to return upstream.
(ON, 7/02, p.9)
1813 Aug 23, Alexander Wilson
(b.1766), Scottish-born poet and naturalist, died in Philadelphia.
He had completed 7 volumes of “American Ornithology" and was working
on an 8th volume when he died.
1814 Dec 1, The shallow-draft
steamboat Enterprise, completed in Pittsburgh under the direction of
keelboat captain Henry Miller Shreve, left for New Orleans to
deliver guns and ammunition to Gen. Jackson.
(ON, 7/02, p.9)
1814 Dec 14, The steamboat
Enterprise, designed by keelboat captain Henry Miller Shreve,
arrived in New Orleans with guns and ammunition for Gen. Jackson. It
was immediately commandeered for military service.
(ON, 7/02, p.9)
1815 Sep 8, Alexander Ramsey
(d.1903), territorial governor of Minnesota (1849-1853), was born
near Harrisburg, Pa.
1816 Dec 2, The first savings
bank in the United States, the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society,
opened for business.
1816 Pittsburgh was
incorporated on the site of old Fort Pitt.
(SFC, 1/29/00, p.E3)
1817 Mar 2, The 1st US
Evangelical church building was dedicated in New Berlin, PA.
1818 Brown Brothers Harriman
(BBH) was founded in Philadelphia as John A. Brown and Company, an
importer of linen. On January 1, 1931, Brown Brothers And Company
merged with Harriman Brothers & Company, an investment company
started in 1912 with railway money.
1819 In Philadelphia Dr. Thomas
W. Dyott, (druggist, patent-medicine vendor, and physician)
purchased the Kensington Glass Works. He expanded the business and
changed the name to the Dyottville Glass Works. He was forced out of
the firm in 1838, but the glassworks continued operating until about
(SFC, 1/14/98, Z1 p.2)
1821 Feb 23, College of
Apothecaries, the 1st US pharmacy college, was organized in
1821 Nov 9, The 1st US pharmacy
college held 1st classes in Philadelphia.
1824 The Second Bank of the
United States, established by federal charter in 1791, was completed
in Philadelphia by William Strickland. It was modeled after the
Parthenon. From 1841-1934 it served as a Custom House. It was
acquired by the National Park Service in 1939 and in 1974 became the
home of the Peale portraits. The renovated museum reopened Dec 1,
(WSJ, 2/22/05, p.D10)
1825 Philadelphia druggist Elie
Magliore Durand first touted the effervescent soda water as a health
drink. Shortly afterward, New York inventor John Matthews originated
the fountain apparatus that conveniently rested on a pharmacist's
counter to dispense carbonated drinks.
1829 Jul 4, Cornerstone laid
for 1st US mint (Chestnut & Juniper St, Phila).
1829 Oct 23, The Eastern State
Penitentiary in Philadelphia received its 1st prisoner, burglar
Charles Williams (18). It was based on the Quaker idea of reform
through solitude and reflection. It opened to tourists in 1971 after
being closed to prisoners. The prison was designed by John Haviland.
(WSJ, 9/19/97, p.B1)(AHHT, 10/02, p.18)
1829 In Pennsylvania David G.
Yuengling (d.1877), an immigrant from Germany, established the Eagle
Brewery on Centre St. in Pottsville. As of 2016 the D.G. Yuengling
& Son brewery was recognized as the oldest in the United States.
3/23/04, p.B5)(SFC, 6/23/16, p.C6)
1830 Sep 20, The National Negro
Convention convened in Philadelphia with the purpose of abolishing
1830 George Brinton began
constructing a home later called Rondelay in Chadds Ford. After
extensive renovations the 6 bedroom home on 38.9 acres was listed
for sale in 1998 for $2.9 mil.
(WSJ, 4/3/98, p.W8)
1830-1850 The Pennsylvania German community made
traditional hand-stitched show towels and most show towels date from
this period. They were hung on a door in the main room of a house.
(SFC,12/10/97, Z1 p.9)
1831 Feb 19, The 1st practical
US coal-burning locomotive made its 1st trial run in Penn.
1832 Aug, In Pennsylvania 57
Irish immigrants died of cholera after traveling there to build a
railroad. In 2009 their bones were found at a woodsy site known as
Duffy's Cut, named after Philip Duffy, who hired the immigrants from
Donegal, Tyrone and Derry to help build the Philadelphia and
Columbia Railroad. In 2010 evidence indicated that at least some of
the men’s remains showed signs of violence.
(AP, 3/25/09)(AP, 8/16/10)
1832 Nov 29, Louisa May Alcott
(d.1888), American author who wrote "Little Women," was born in
Germantown, Pa. Under the pen name A.M. Barnard she wrote stories of
violence and revenge that included "Pauline’s Passion and
Punishment." "It takes people a long time to learn the difference
between talent and genius, especially ambitious young men and
(WUD, 1994, p.35)(SFC, 6/17/97, p.E3)(AP,
1832 The Girard Bank of
Pennsylvania was founded.
1832 The Pittsburgh riverfront
home of coal baron Abraham Hays flooded. Hays built a new
mansion, which later became a stop on the Underground
Railroad, harboring slaves who traveled a tunnel from the
Monongahela River to the vast brick-lined basement.
1833 Aug 7, Powell Clayton,
Brig. General (Union volunteers), (Gov-R-Ark), was born in Pa.
1833 Dec 4, American
Anti-Slavery Society was formed by Arthur Tappan in Phila.
1833 John Mohler Studebaker was
born in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. In 1858 joined his two older
brothers in a South Bend firm producing wagons. The company went on
to become the world’s largest producer of farm wagons and carriages.
(WSJ, 6/13/96, p.A12)(HNQ, 1/21/02)
1833 Richard Allen (73)
published his autobiography: "The Life, Experience, and Gospel
Labors of the Rt. Rev. Richard Allen."
1833 American Navy pensioners
moved into what was then called the Naval Asylum, a 180-room stone
building on the bank of the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. The
name was later changed to the Naval Home. It closed in 1977.
1834 William Russell Birch
(b.1755), English-born artist, died. He had settled in Philadelphia
with his son in 1794 and in 1800 published 28 drawn and engraved
hand-colored images of Philadelphia.
(SFC, 5/18/02, p.E6)
1835 Jul 6, John Marshall, the
third chief justice of the Supreme Court, died at the age of 79. Two
days later, while tolling in his honor in Philadelphia, the Liberty
1835 Jul 8, The US Liberty Bell
in Philadelphia cracked while being tolled for Chief Justice John
Marshall. It was never rung again.
(HFA, ‘96, p.34)(HN, 7/6/98)(WSJ, 12/10/96,
1835 John Wise built and took
off from Philadelphia in his first homemade balloon. In 1859 he
attempted an express mail service by balloon from St. Louis to NYC.
(ON, 11/00, p.6)
1836 The LaPorte house was
built by John LaPorte, son of one of the founders of French Azilum
(HT, 5/97, p.18)
1837 Feb 25, Cheyney University
was established in Pennsylvania through the bequest of Richard
Humphreys, and became the oldest institution of higher learning for
African Americans. It was initially named the African Institute.
However, the name was changed several weeks later to the Institute
for Colored Youth (ICY). In subsequent years, the university was
renamed Cheyney Training School for Teachers (July 1914), Cheyney
State Teacher’s College (1951), Cheyney State College (1959), and
eventually Cheyney Univ. of Pennsylvania (1983).
1838 Jul 11, John Wanamaker
(d.1922), US merchant who founded a chain of stores in Philadelphia,
(HN, 7/11/98)(ON, 12/05, p.6)
1839 Feb 24, A steam shovel was
patented by William Otis, Philadelphia.
1839 Dec 4, The Whig Party
opened a national convention in Harrisburg, Pa., where delegates
nominated William Henry Harrison for president. Soon after the Whigs
constructed a 10-foot ball of twine, wood and tin, covered with Whig
slogans, and rolled it from Cleveland to Columbus, Ohio, and across
the country. This was later deemed the first modern presidential and
led to the expression "Keep the ball rolling."
(AP, 12/4/99)(SSFC, 1/11/04, p.D6)(Econ, 12/5/15,
1840 Apr 2, The Association of
American Geologists held its first meeting in Philadelphia.
1840 A US no-bail-out policy
forced some state into default. Several US states had loaded up on
unsustainable debt following an extended period of easy credit.
These states consequently found payments on their existing bonds
increasingly unaffordable. Between 1841 and 1843 Arkansas, Illinois,
Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Pennsylvania
and one territory – a proto-state called Florida – defaulted.
(Econ, 2/11/12, p.57)(http://tinyurl.com/6pgf4wq)
1840s The Chain Gang, the
earliest Mummers club, was formed in Philadelphia.
(SFC, 12/31/00, p.A10)
1841 Dentist Joseph Wilson
authored “Sketches of the Higher Classes of Coloured Society in
(Econ, 8/6/16, p.67)
1841 In Philadelphia Volney B.
Palmer began the first advertising agency. He sold newspaper space
to out-of-town advertisers.
(SFC, 7/5/97, p.E3)
1841 The Bartleson-Bidwell
Party made the trek to California. John Bidwell led the 1st wagon
train over the Sierra Nevada and later founded Chico. Also in the
group was Paul Geddes, who had robbed a bank in Philadelphia, and
renamed himself Talbot Green. His true ID was exposed in 1851 as he
was about to run for mayor of SF.
(SFC, 12/7/02, p.E4)(SSFC, 9/24/06, p.B3)(SFC,
6/14/14, p.C2)(SSFC, 3/18/18, p.F13)
1844 May 22, Mary Cassatt,
impressionist painter, was born in Alleghany City (later
Pittsburgh). [see May 22, 1845]
(HFA, ‘96, p.30)(AHD, p.209)(HN, 5/22/98)(WSJ,
1845 Apr 10, Over 1,000
buildings were damaged by fire in Pittsburgh, Pa.
1845 May 22, Mary Cassatt
(d.1926), American impressionist painter and printmaker, was born in
Alleghany, Pa. Much of Cassatt’s early life was spent in Europe with
her wealthy family. She attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the
Fine Arts from 1861 to 1865 and worked briefly with Charles Joshua
Chaplin in Paris, but preferred working her own way and copying old
masters. She was a close friend of and greatly influenced by Edgar
Degas. He admired her entry in the Salon of 1874, and at his
invitation she joined the Impressionists and afterward showed her
works at their exhibits. Degas’ influence is apparent in Cassatt’s
mastery of drawing and in her unposed, asymmetrical compositions.
Initially, Cassatt was a figure painter whose subjects were groups
of women drinking tea or on outings with friends. After the great
exhibition of Japanese prints held in Paris in 1890, she brought out
her series of 10 colored prints, such as "Woman Bathing," and "The
Coiffure," in which the influence of the Japanese masters Utamaro
and Toyokuni is apparent. Cassatt urged her wealthy American friends
and relatives to buy Impressionist paintings, and in this way, more
than through her own works, she exerted a lasting influence on
American taste. She was largely responsible for selecting the works
that make up the H.O. Havemeyer Collection in the Metropolitan
Museum of Art, New York.
(HFA, ‘96, p.30)(AHD, p.209)(FAMSF, Mar, 98)
1846 Feb 23, The Liberty Bell
in Philadelphia tolled for the last time, to mark George
Washington’s birthday. A hairline fracture had developed since 1817
and a failed attempt to repair it resulted in the crack. In 2010
Tristram Riley-Smith authored “"The Cracked Bell: American and the
Afflictions of Liberty."
(HN, 2/23/98)(SFEC, 8/16/98, p.T5)(Econ, 1/30/10,
1847 May 7, The American
Medical Association was founded in Philadelphia.
(AP, 5/7/97) (HN, 5/7/98)
1847 Sep 11, Stephen Foster’s
"Oh! Susanna" was first performed in a saloon in Pittsburgh.
1848 Oct 16, The 1st US
homeopathic medical college opened in Pennsylvania.
1849 Dec 19, Henry Clay Frick
(d.1919), coal and steel magnate, was born in West Overton, Penn.
1850 Mar 11, The Pennsylvania
legislature passed an act to incorporate the Female Medical College
of Pennsylvania, the first regular medical school for women in
1850 Oct 12, The 1st women's
medical school, the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania, opened
1850-1859 The Lehigh Valley town of Bethlehem,
Pennsylvania, became an iron-making center in the 1850s thanks to
discoveries of coal and iron ore nearby.
(WSJ, 10/8/08, p.A15)
1851 Sep 11, Edward Gorsuch, a
wealthy slave owner from Maryland, confronted William Parker and
accused him of harboring 4 runaway slaves near the abolitionist
town, Christiana, Pennsylvania. This was one year after the second
fugitive slave law (first law was on February 12, 1793) was passed
by Congress, requiring the return of all escaped slaves to their
owners in the South. Gorsuch was killed during the skirmish and
Parker was forced to flee to Canada.
(AH, 10/02, p.49)
1851 Dec 11, In Philadelphia 37
men, on trial in federal court for defying the Fugitive Slave Law,
were deemed not guilty by a jury with 15 minutes of deliberation.
(AH, 10/02, p.54)
1851 In Pennsylvania Bernard
Lauth, founded the American Iron Company. The firm of Jones and
Lauth was founded in 1852 by B. F. Jones a few miles (~4 km) south
of Pittsburgh along the Monongahela River. Lauth's interest was
bought in 1854 by James H. Laughlin.
1852 Feb 16, Charles Taze
Russell (d.1916) was born in Pittsburgh. In 1872 Russell abandoned
the Adventist movement and formed the International Bible Students
Association, which was later named Jehovah’s Witnesses (1931).
1852 John Neumann, Catholic
missionary, became the bishop of Philadelphia. he was later made a
(SFEC, 9/14/97, p.A18)
1853 Keebler Foods was founded
in Philadelphia. It was acquired by Kellogg in 2001.
1855 Jul 18, In Philadelphia
William Still, a leader in the Underground Railroad, liberated Jane
Johnson and her 2 sons from Col. John H. Wheeler, the recently
appointed US Minister to Nicaragua. Still was tried and acquitted.
"The Underground Railroad" by William Still was published in
(ON, 10/01, p.5)
1855 Organic chemist Benjamin
Stillman laid the foundations for the Pennsylvania oil rush by his
discovery that petroleum could be distilled into lubricants and
kerosene for cooking and illumination. Suddenly there was a use for
the crude oil that seeped to the surface, annoying farmers by
ruining the land and polluting the water supply.
1856 Jun 17, In Philadelphia,
the Republican Party opened its first national convention. John C.
Fremont (1830-1890), American explorer, was the 1st Republican
presidential candidate. His platform pledged to end polygamy and
slavery. He lost to James Buchanan by about 500,000 votes. Fremont
went on to serve as territorial governor of Arizona from 1878 to
1883. In 2003 Lewis L. Gould authored "Grand Old Party: A History of
(AP, 6/17/97)(HN, 6/17/98)(SFEC, 2/13/00, BR
p.5)(HNQ, 3/11/00)(WSJ, 9/7/01, p.W17)(SSFC, 11/23/03, p.M1)
1856-1930 Henry Chapman Mercer, archeologist and
collector. He designed and constructed the Mercer Museum in
(AH, 4/01, p.18)
1857 Jan 6, Patent for reducing
zinc ore was granted to Samuel Wetherill in Penn.
1857 Sep 13, Milton S. Hershey,
chocolate manufacturer and philanthropist, was born in Dauphin
1857 Nov 5, Ida M. Tarbell
(d.1944), muckraking journalist, was born in Erie County, Pa.
1858 Mar 23, Eleazer A. Gardner
of Philadelphia patented the cable street car, which ran on overhead
1858 Mar 30, Hyman L. Lipman of
Philadelphia patented the pencil.
1858 The Market Square
Presbyterian Church was built in Harrisburg.
(SSFC, 4/13/03, p.D6)
1859 Mar 21, Zoological Society
of Philadelphia, the 1st in US, was incorporated.
1859 Aug 27-28, The US oil
business was born in Titusville, Pa. Former army officer Colonel
Edwin L. Drake drilled the first oil well in Titusville, Pa.,
striking oil at 70 feet and setting off a wild scramble for wealth
similar to the California gold rush of 1849. The land belonged to
the Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company. Until that time, the company had
simply collected oil that seeped out of the ground. Drake's plan was
to produce it in large quantities for use in heating and
illumination. Overnight oil fields sprang up in Pennsylvania but
competition, disorganization and oversupply kept oil prices low. It
was not until John D. Rockefeller and the Standard Oil Company came
onto the scene in 1870 that the petroleum industry developed into a
vastly profitable, although much hated, monopoly.
(HFA, '96, p.36)(AP, 8/27/97)(HNPD, 10/4/98)(WSJ,
10/4/96, p.A9)(HNQ, 2//99)
1860 Jul 14, Owen Wister
(d.1938), novelist, was born in Germantown, Pa. His 1902 novel
"The Virginian" inspired 5 films.
(HN, 7/14/01)(SFC, 1/9/02, p.D8)(AH, 10/02, p.18)
1860 William McGillin began
opened McGillin’s Olde Ale House in Philadelphia. In 2009 it
celebrated its sesquicentennial.
(SFC, 8/5/09, p.A4)
1860 John and Frank Wyeth
established a drugstore in Philadelphia. It grew to become
Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories in 1926 and was later acquired by American
(SFC, 1/21/98, p.B2)
1860 John Neumann, the 4th
Bishop of Philadelphia, died. He was later made the patron saint of
(SFC, 12/31/00, p.A10)
1861 Feb 5, The kinematoscope
was patented by Coleman Sellers in Philadelphia.
1861 William Wrigley, Jr., was
born in Philadelphia. He began his business career by selling soap
manufactured by his father. In 1891, Wrigley moved to Chicago where
he founded and became president of Wm. Wrigley, Jr. Company,
manufacturers of chewing gum, earning him the money to acquire the
Chicago Cubs and to build Wrigley‘s Stadium. Wrigley is especially
noted for his effective advertising techniques.
1861 James Buchanan, 15th
President of the United States, retired to Wheatland, his
Pennsylvania home, on the eve of the American Civil War. Attracted
to the privacy, quiet and beauty of its rural location, Buchanan
bought the 22-acre property in 1848 while he was finishing out his
term as secretary of state under President James Polk. The
Federal-style house was built in 1828 for William Jenkins, a wealthy
lawyer and banker who named his estate "The Wheatlands" because of
its setting among wheat fields.
1861 The Bassett family became
making ice cream in Philadelphia. The ice cream was later called
Bassetts and considered by some to be the best in the world.
(WSJ, 8/1/00, p.A24)
1861 In Philadelphia John
Wanamaker (1838-1922) and Nathan Brown (d.1868) purchased a 6-story
men’s clothing store called McNeill’s Folly and renamed it the Oak
Hall Clothing Bazaar.
(ON, 12/05, p.4)
1861 John Wallace Cowden
founded the Cowden pottery in Harrisburg, Pa. It became Cowden &
Son from 1888-1904.
(SFC, 3/29/06, p.G6)
1862 Feb 26, Cornelius Felton
(b.1807), president of Harvard Univ., died in Chester, Pen., after 2
years in office.
1862 May 18, William
High Keim (b.1813), US Union Brigadier-General, died in camp of
fever in Harrisburg, Pa.
1862 A dam across the South
Fork Creek, a tributary of the Little Conemaugh River, collapsed and
damaged some property in Johnstown.
(ON, 12/99, p.9)
1863 Jun 26, Jubal Early and
his Confederate forces moved into Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
1863 Jun 28, General Meade
replaced General Hooker three days before the Battle of Gettysburg.
1863 Jun 28, Officers of the
Confederate Army of Northern Virginia’s Second Corps were looking at
Harrisburg through field glasses from across the Susquehanna River
just a day or two before a developing battle at Gettysburg called
them away. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the Keystone State’s capital
was a major hub for rail traffic from every direction. Consequently,
it was also the point through which the hard, slow-burning coal used
by ships, locomotives, and furnaces traveled on its way from the
mines of north central Pennsylvania to military and industrial
customers. Philadelphia, an important ocean port east of Harrisburg
and connected to it by rail, would have been virtually defenseless
against an attack from its landward side. If Lee had taken
Harrisburg, he would also have been perfectly positioned to threaten
Washington, D.C., from the north.
1863 Jun 29, Lee ordered his
forces to concentrate near Gettysburg, PN.
1863 Jun 30, Union and
Confederate cavalries clashed at Hanover, Pennsylvania.
1863 Jul 1, The opening
shot at the Battle of Gettysburg was at 7:30 a.m. In the first day's
fighting at Gettysburg, Federal forces retreated through the town
and dug in at Cemetery Ridge and Cemetery Hill. Gen. Robert E. Lee's
ordered Lt. Gen. Richard Ewell, "Take the hill if practicable, but
do not bring on a general engagement..." Books on the campaign
included "The Gettysburg Campaign, A Study in Command," by Edwin B.
Coddington and "Gettysburg: Culp's Hill and Cemetery Hill," by Harry
W. Pfanz. The novel "While Gods and Generals" by Jeff Shaara, son of
Michael Shaara, describes the years leading up to the battle.
(HFA, '96, p.32)(AP, 7/1/97)(SFEC, 6/21/98,
1863 Jul 1, John Fulton
Reynolds (42), Union general, died in battle at Gettysburg.
1863 Jul 1-3, From the opening
shot at 7:30 a.m. on July 1, 1863, to 4 p.m. on July 3, when the
last rebel assault was repulsed, the Union and Confederate armies
suffered an estimated 50,000 casualties in the Battle of Gettysburg.
It was the bloodiest battle the country had yet seen. Upon whom the
responsibility for the South's failure at Gettysburg rests has been
widely debated, but five months after the epic battle, Confederate
General Robert E. Lee admitted, "I thought my men were invincible."
The fighting in the small Pennsylvania town marked a pivotal point
in the Union's ascent to victory and helped decide the outcome of
the Civil War.
1863 Jul 2, The Union left
flank held at Little Round Top during 2nd day of the Battle of
Gettysburg. Union Gen. Daniel Sickles was severely wounded and had
his leg amputated. In 2002 Thomas Keneally authored "American
Scoundrel: The Life of the Notorious Civil War General Dan Sickles."
(WSJ, 3/29/02, p.W10)(SFC, 4/17/02, p.D1)(AH,
1863 Jul 3, The Civil War's
Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania ended after three days in a
major victory for the North as Confederate troops retreated. The
last Confederate assault at Gettysburg was Pickett’s Charge against
the center of the Union line that left some 7,000 of 13,000 [15,000]
Confederate troops dead. Lt. Gen. James Longstreet gave Maj. Gen.
George Pickett the assent. General Lee took responsibility. In 1974
Michael Shaara published "The Killer Angels," a novel about the
(SFC, 7/7/96, T6)(SFC,2/17/97, p.A3)(AP,
7/3/97)(SFEC, 6/21/98, p.D5)(HN, 7/3/98)(WSJ, 9/11/98, p.W10)
1863 Jul 4, General Lee’s army
limped toward Virginia after defeat at Gettysburg. 28,063 of 75,000
confederate soldiers were lost. General Meade’s army suffered 23,049
soldiers killed, wounded and missing.
(SFC, 7/7/96, T6)
1863 Jul 4, Paul Joseph Revere,
US grandson of Paul Revere, Union brig-gen, died from wounds at
1863 Jul 6, Vincent Strong
(b.1837), US Union brig-general, died from wounds at Gettysburg.
(MC, 6/17/02)(MC, 7/6/02)
1863 Nov 19, President Lincoln
delivered the Gettysburg Address as he dedicated a national cemetery
at the site of the Civil War battlefield in Pennsylvania. Lincoln
had been asked to deliver a few "appropriate remarks" to the crowd
at the dedication of the National Cemetery at the site of the Battle
of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. His address was almost ignored in the
wake of the lengthy oration by main speaker Edwin Everett, the
former governor of Massachusetts. In fact, Lincoln's speech was over
before many in the crowd were even aware that he was speaking.
Lincoln concluded his speech with this vow: "We here highly resolve
that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under
God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the
people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the
11/19/97)(ON, 8/07, p.1)
1863 Nov, In Pennsylvania the
Harrisburg Patriot and Union newspaper described Pres. Lincoln’s
speech at Gettysburg as “silly remarks" that deserved a “veil of
oblivion." In 2013 the Patriot-News of Harrisburg retracted the
editorial penned by its predecessor.
(SFC, 11/15/13, p.A7)
1863 The Mütter Museum was
founded as part of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia was an
educational service for practicing physicians.
(NW, 11/18/02, p.14)
1863 A locomotive named the
Gov. Stanford was built by Richard Norris & Son in Philadelphia
and shipped around Cape Horn to California by schooner. It hauled
the Central Pacific’s 1st freight and passenger trains and later was
made a centerpiece at the California State Railroad Museum in
(SSFC, 8/8/04, p.D5)(SSFC, 2/9/14, p.P2)
1864 Jul 30, Gen. Jubal Early
ordered Confederate troops to attack Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. The
town was burned by Confederate forces under Gen. McCausland
1865 Daniel C. Ripley founded a
lamp manufacturing firm in Pittsburgh, Pa. the following year he
joined with 5 partners to form Ripley & Co. Ripley was granted a
patent in 1868 for a glass oil lamp. The company merged with others
in 1891 to form the U.S. Glass Co. of Pittsburgh.
(SFC, 12/14/05, p.G4)(SFC, 4/4/07, p.G2)
1865-1877 In eastern Pennsylvania the Molly
McGuires, a secret society of Irish miners, waged a war with arson,
murders and beatings, on coal-mine owners.
(WSJ, 10/7/97, p.A20)
1868 Aug 11, Thaddeus Stevens
(1792-1868), Pennsylvania Republican and architect of Radical
1869 Jun 9, Charles Elmer Hires
sold his 1st root beer in Phila.
1869 Sep 6, 110 miners, a
number of them young boys, were killed in coal mine disaster which
occurred early in the morning in Avondale, Pennsylvania, when a fire
broke out in a mineshaft, cutting off the miners' escape route and
their only source of air.
1869 The first Lithuanian
community was established in Danville, Pennsylvania.
1869 Henry J. Heinz partnered
with L.C. Noble to form Heinz & Noble in Sharpsburg, Pa.,
selling fruit and vegetable preserves. They produced tomato and
walnut ketchup for 24 cents per gallon and sold them from whiskey
1870 Feb 5, The 1st motion
picture was shown to a theater audience in Philadelphia.
1870 Mar 21, The grave of Ellen
Shannon in Girard, Pennsylvania reads: Ellen Shannon, Who was
fatally burned March 21, 1870 by the explosion of a lamp filled with
"R.E. Danforth’s Non-Explosive Burning Fluid."
(e-mail, Riddiough, 5/16/99)
1870 Harry "the Sundance Kid"
Longabaugh was born in Lancaster County.
1870-1882 Alexander Conrad was a stoneware
manufacturer in southwestern Pennsylvania during this time.
(SFC, 4/15/98, Z1 p.6)
1871 The construction of City
Hall in Philadelphia began.
(SFEC, 8/16/98, p.T1)
1871 The Red Star Line, an
ocean passenger line, was founded as a joint venture between the
International Navigation Company of Philadelphia, which also ran the
American Line, and the Société Anonyme de Navigation
Belgo-Américaine of Antwerp, Belgium.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Star_Line)(SSFC, 4/21/13, p.H4)
1871 The Knights of Labor
organization was started as a secret order at a meeting of tailors
called by Uriah Stephens in Philadelphia. The Knights of Labor was
organized on a national basis in 1878. It was an industrial union
open to all gainfully employed skilled or unskilled workers and
headed by a General Assembly. By 1886 there were 5,892 local
assemblies and more than 700,000 members. Among other reforms, the
Knights supported an 8-hour day, graduated income tax, boycotts,
arbitration, and consumer and producer cooperatives. The
organization began to decline after 1886. [other sources give 1869
as the founding year.]
1872 Aug 1, The first
long-distance gas pipeline in the U.S. was completed. Designed for
natural gas, the two-inch pipe ran five miles from Newton Wells to
1872 The International Bible
Students Association was founded in Pittsburgh by Charles Taze
Russell. During the 1870s, Charles Taze Russell established himself
as an independent and controversial Adventist teacher. Russell was
succeeded as president in 1917 by Joseph Franklin Rutherford (Judge
Rutherford; 1869–1942), who changed the group’s name to Jehovah’s
Witnesses in 1931 to emphasize its members’ belief that Jehovah, or
Yahweh, is the true God and that the Witnesses were his specially
1874 Feb 3, Gertrude Stein
(d.1946), poet and novelist, was born in Pittsburgh, Pa. Her older
brother, Michael, managed the family business, which included San
Francisco's Market Street railway line. Her parents were Daniel and
Milly. The family returned to America from Europe in 1878, and
settled in Oakland, California, where Gertrude attended First Hebrew
Congregation of Oakland's Sabbath school. Her relationship with her
brother, Leo (1872-1947), abruptly ended in 1914. Her work included
"Three Lives," "G.M.P." and "Tender Buttons." Stein coined the term
"Lost Generation" in reference to the disillusioned intellectuals
and aesthetes of the post-World War I years. The 40-year
relationship between Gertrude and Leo is told by Brenda Wineapple in
"Sister Brother, Gertrude and Leo Stein." "Everybody gets so much
information all day long that they lose their common sense." "It is
awfully important to know what is and what is not your business."
(SFEC, 8/11/96, DB,
1874 Jun 25, Rose Cecil O’Neill
(d.1944), illustrator, writer and creator of the Kewpie doll, was
born in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
1874 Jul 1, The 1st US zoo
opened in Philadelphia.
1875 Nov 16, William Bonwill
(1833-1899), a Philadelphia dentist, provided specifications for a
patent for an electrical tooth-filling Instrument, a dental
mallet to impact gold into cavities. The patent application was
filed in 1873 and accepted in 1888.
1876 May 10, Centennial Fair
opened in Philadelphia. Centennial Hall was built in Philadelphia,
Pa., to commemorate the country’s 100th birthday. The US Centennial
Exhibition was a world’s fair celebrating the founding of the US and
drew over 9.9 million people. The US population at this time was 46
(Hem, 6/96, p.108)(SFC,12/10/97, Z1 p.9)(MC,
1876 Jun 5, Bananas became
popular in US following the Centennial Exposition in Phila.
1876 Jun 26, Alexander Graham
Bell demonstrated his telephone at the Centennial Exposition in
(SFC, 2/3/97, p.D1)
1876 Dec 6, The 1st US
crematorium began operation in Washington, Penn.
1876 Edward Mitchell Bannister,
African-American artist, won a 1st place prize at the Centennial
Exposition, but was turned away from the exhibition hall when he
went to collect his medal.
(WSJ, 8/8/00, p.A20)
1876 In the US the Workingmen’s
Party of the United States (WPUS) was founded in Philadelphia, Pa.
In 1878 it reformed as the Socialist Labor Party.
1876 The high-wheel bicycle was
introduced in the US at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia.
(ON, 2/10, p.3)
1877 Mar 12, In Philadelphia
the first department store, The Grand Depot, opened. John Wanamaker
turned an abandoned railway depot into one of the world’s 1st
(HN, 3/12/98)(Econ, 4/2/05, p.11)(ON, 12/05, p.5)
1878 Mar 20, Thomas Fisher, an
alleged member of the Molly McGuires, was hung at the Carbon County
Prison of Mauch Chunk, Pa. He had been convicted of the murder of
Morgan Powell, a supervisor for the Lehigh Coal and Navigation
Company. Fisher insisted up to his death on his innocence.
(HT, 4/97, p.20)
1878 Jul 3, John Wise flew the
first dirigible in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
1878 Dec 26, The 1st US store
to install electric lights was in Philadelphia.
1878 The Thomas Eakins
(1844-1916) painting "The Gross Clinic" was bought for $200 by
Thomas Jefferson University, a medical and health sciences school in
Philadelphia. In 2006 The National Gallery of Art agreed to buy the
painting for a record $68 million, however the deal was matched by
local institutions and the painting remained in Philadelphia.
(AP, 11/11/06)(WSJ, 12/26/06, p.D8)
1879 Apr 9, W.C. Fields (Claude
William Dukinfield [Dukenfield]), comedian, was born in
Philadelphia. He began his career as a vaudeville juggler, appeared
on Broadway and in motion pictures. [see Jan 29, 1880]
(HN, 4/9/98)(HNQ, 9/30/01)
1879 Jun 21, F.W. Woolworth
opened his 1st store. It failed almost immediately. Frank Woolworth
added 10-cent items to the Great 5-Cent Store in Lancaster, Pa., and
created Woolworth’s five-and-ten. This was his 2nd attempt after a
failure in Utica. He took in $127 during his first day of business.
(WSJ, 9/26/96, p.B1)(SFC,10/20/97, p.B2)(MC,
1879 In downtown Philadelphia
the Provident Life and Trust Building was completed. It was designed
by Frank Furness (1839-1912).
(WS, 6/26/01, p.A21)
1879 Lt. Col. Richard Henry
Pratt persuaded Washington to hand over the mothballed Carlisle
military barracks in Pennsylvania for use as a school for American
Indians. In the early 20th century the school became a football
powerhouse, beating Army in 1912. In 1918 the school was turned into
a hospital to receive soldiers wounded in WW I.
(WSJ, 1/7/07, p.P9)
1880 Jan 6, Tom Mix, silent
screen cowboy actor (Dick Turpin), was born in Mix Run, Pa.
1880 Jan 29, W.C. Fields,
comedian and actor, was born as Claude William Dukinfield
[Dukenfield]. His films included David Copperfield and My Little
Chickadee. [see Apr 9 1879]
1880 Jun 18, John Sutter
(b.1803), Swiss-born California settler (gold discovered on his
land), died in Lititz, Pa.
(SSFC, 4/13/03, p.D6)(MC, 6/18/02)
c1880-1920 In Philadelphia the Juvenile Aid
Society was begun by the 15,000 Jews of German extraction to deal
with the wave of some 200,000 East European Jews who arrived during
(WSJ, 6/18/99, p.A20)
c1881 The Norristown State
Hospital was established. It served the chronically mentally ill and
the worst of the criminally insane.
(SFC, 6/19/99, p.A4)
1881 The South Fork Hunting and
Fishing Club purchased the old damn site across a tributary of the
Little Conemaugh River and rebuilt the old damn without the original
sluice pipes. They blocked the spillway to prevent fish from
(ON, 12/99, p.9)
1881 The Wharton School was
founded in Pennsylvania. In 2003 it was recognized as the oldest and
best business school in the US.
(WSJ, 9/17/03, p.A1)
1883 Feb 23, American
Anti-Vivisection Society was organized in Philadelphia.
1883 Haverford College was
founded in Haverford, Pa., by Quakers.
(WSJ, 7/24/03, p.A1)
1884 French artist Paul
Philippoteaux (1846-1923) and team of 20 created in Paris the
massive Cyclorama painting titled “The Battle of Gettysburg." It was
originally 377 feet in circumference. They then shipped it to the
US, where it was first displayed in Boston. The US National Park
Service acquired it in 1942. In 2008 a 5-year, $15 million
restoration project was completed and it was reopened to the public
at the Gettysburg National Military Park in Gettysburg, Pa.
1885 Mar, In Loganville, Pa.,
Dr. George E. Holtzapple (22) saved Fred Gable (16), who was
suffering from pneumonia, by supplying the boy with pure oxygen.
Oxygen therapy became the only effective treatment for pneumonia
until antibiotics became available in the 1940s.
(ON, 4/07, p.10)
1885 The Cincinnati Stock
Exchange was founded. It closed its trading floor in 1980 and became
America's first fully computerized exchange. Bernard Madoff, a
former chairman of the NASDAQ Stock Market and founder of Bernard L.
Madoff Investment Securities, was one of the few NASDAQ
market-makers who competed with the New York Stock Exchange, by
trading stocks listed on the Big Board. His broker/dealer firm did
this through an electronic market that was operated at the
Cincinnati Stock Exchange.
1885 Isaac Mayer Wise united
pockets of Jewish immigrants and assembled 15 rabbis in Pittsburgh
to articulate a platform for the Union of American Hebrew
Congregations, the Hebrew Union College, and the Central Conference
of American Rabbis. The organization of Reform Judaism discussed the
Mitzvot, the 613 commandments in the Torah, and accepted only
the moral laws as binding.
(WSJ, 6/4/99, p.W15)
1885 Elizabeth Cochran (21)
began to produce article for the Pittsburgh Dikspatch under the name
“Nelie Bly." In 1887 she moved to NYC hoping to find work at the New
(ON, 6/20/11, p.11)
1886 Feb 13, Painter Thomas
Eakins resigned from the Philadelphia Academy of Art over
controversial use of male nudes in a coed art class.
1887 Feb 2, People began
gathering at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa., to witness the
groundhog's search for its shadow.
(WSJ, 2/2/99, p.B1)
1887 Ford City, Pa., was
founded by John B. Ford, head of the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co. on
the shore of the Allegheny River. Later some 47 acres of the factory
grounds were fenced off due to contamination from arsenic left
behind by decades of industrial glassmaking.
(WSJ, 8/12/97, p.B1)
1887 The Pennsylvania Railroad
train station at Harrisburg opened.
(SSFC, 4/13/03, p.D6)
1887 Pennsylvania House was
founded in Lewisburg, Pa., to make high-quality case furniture. In
2000 La-Z-Boy bought the company and in 2004 moved production to
(SFC, 6/4/08, p.G3)
1887 The Lanston Monotype
Machine Company was founded by Tolbert Lanston in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. Lanston had a patented mechanical method of punching
out metal types from cold strips of metal which were set (hence
typesetting) into a matrix for the printing press.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monotype_Imaging)(Econ, 6/28/14, p.52)
1888 Mar 6, William Bonwill of
Philadelphia patented revolving-hammer mechanical dental pluggers,
by which the plugging-tool is hit a rapid series I 5 of blows to
impact the gold in the teeth.
1888 Aug 7, The revolving door,
the brainchild of Philadelphia inventor Theophilus Van Kannel
(1841-1919), was patented. In 1889 he founded the Van Kannel
Revolving Door Company.
1889 Jan 9, A tornado struck
Brooklyn, NY, when Flatbush was farmland. A twister blew through
what are now the neighborhoods of Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill,
Downtown, Fort Greene and Williamsburg, blowing roofs off houses and
uprooting trees, but killing no one. 14 people were killed by the
tornado in Pittsburg, Pa.
1889 May 31, Johnstown,
Pennsylvania was destroyed by a massive flood. The South Fork Dam
across a tributary of the Little Conemaugh River collapsed under
pressure from the rain-swollen Lake Conemaugh. Water slammed into
Johnstown, Pa., 55 miles southeast of Pittsburgh and killed 2,209
people in a flood and related fire. Torrential rains had weakened
the poorly constructed dam, located 14 miles upstream from the city.
By the afternoon of May 31, after desperate efforts to shore up the
earthen dam had failed, it broke and unleashed a 40-foot-high wave
of water and debris into Johnstown with the force of Niagara Falls.
Buildings and trees, along with animals and people--both dead and
alive--piled up against the Pennsylvania Railroad Company's Stone
Bridge. The mountain of debris then caught fire, trapping hundreds.
More than 2,000 people lost their lives in the devastating Johnstown
Flood. The South Fork Dam had been constructed to create Lake
Conemaugh, a playground for the wealthy members of the South Fork
Fishing and Hunting Club. In 1959 Richard O'Connor published
"Johnstown, the Day the Dam Broke." In 1968 David McCullough
authored “The Johnstown Flood."
(SFC, 3/24/97, p.C2)(AP, 5/31/97)(HN,
5/31/98)(WSJ, 1/27/06, p.P8)
1889 Nov 16, George S. Kaufman,
American playwright and screenwriter, was born in Pittsburgh, Pa.
His plays included "Dinner at Eight," "You Can't Take it With You"
and "The Man Who Came to Dinner."
(HN, 11/16/99)(MC, 11/16/01)
1889 Clara Barton and her Red
Cross group spent 5 months helping victims of the Johnstown flood.
(SFC, 9/17/01, p.A6)
1890 Aug 27, Man Ray (d.1976)
was born as Emmanuel Radinski in Philadelphia, Pa. A painter and
photographer, he and Marcel Duchamp founded the Dadaism movement.
1890 The Westmoreland Glass Co.
began making glass containers in Grapeville, Pa. Operations
continued to 1984.
(SFC, 7/11/07, p.G4)
1891 Pennsylvania’s first free
library was chartered.
(Econ, 2/14/09, p.40)
1892 Mar 3, 1st cattle
tuberculosis test in US was made at Villa Nova, PA.
1892 In Pennsylvania the
Reading Railroad station opened in Philadelphia. It later became the
home of the Reading /Terminal Market.
(SSFC, 5/25/14, p.P4)
1892 Pennsylvania’s Mansfield
Univ. played college football’s first night game.
(WSJ, 9/26/08, p.A1)
1892 Henry Clay Frick, partner
of Andrew Carnegie, engineered a bloody clash with the labor union
at the Pittsburgh Homestead Mill. 9-10 workers and 3 Pinkerton
guards were killed and the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel
Workers union was crushed.
(SFEC,1/20/97, p.D1)(WSJ, 5/12/03, p.A6)
1893 Feb 28, Edward Acheson of
Pennsylvania, patented an abrasive he named "carborundum."
1893 Jun 14, Philadelphia
observed the first Flag Day.
1894 Apr 5, 11 strikers were
killed in riot at Connellsville, Penn.
1894 May 11, Martha Graham,
choreographer (Appalachian Spring), was born in Allegheny, Penn.
1894 Milton Hershey (1857-1945)
founded Hershey Foods in Pennsylvania. He built an industrial town
near where he was born and named it after himself.
(WSJ, 7/26/02, p.B1)(SSFC, 4/13/03, p.D1)(Econ,
1895 Sep 3, The first
professional American football game was played in Latrobe,
Pennsylvania between the Latrobe Young Men’s Christian Association
and the Jeannette Athletic Club. Latrobe wins 12-0.
1896 Feb 28, Philip Showalter
Hench, physician (cortisone-Nobel), was born in Pittsburgh.
1896 May 7, Dr. Henry Howard
Holmes (b.1860), serial killer, was hanged to death in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. Born as Herman Webster Mudgett in Gilmantown, New
Hampshire, to a devout Methodist family, Holmes spent much of his
childhood torturing animals. He later graduated from the University
of Michigan with a medical degree. Holmes financed his education
with a series of insurance scams whereby he requested coverage for
nonexistent people and then presented corpses as the insured. In
1886, Holmes moved to Chicago to work as a pharmacist. A few months
later, he killed the elderly owner of the store but told everyone
that the man had left him in charge. With a new series of cons,
Holmes raised enough money to build a giant, elaborate home across
from the store. The home, which Holmes called "The Castle," had
secret passageways, fake walls, and trapdoors. Young women in the
area, along with tourists who had come to see the 1893 World's Fair
in Chicago, and had rented out rooms in Holmes' castle, suddenly
began disappearing. Medical schools purchased many human skeletons
from Dr. Holmes during this period but never asked how he obtained
the anatomy specimens. Holmes was finally caught after attempting to
use another corpse, his assistant Benjamin Pitezel, in an insurance
scam. He confessed, saying, "I was born with the devil in me. I
could not help the fact that I was a murderer, no more than a poet
can help the inspiration to sing." Reportedly, authorities
discovered the remains of over 200 victims on his property.
1896 In Pennsylvania American
Rabbi Joseph Krauskopf bought 118 acres of land about 25 miles north
of Philadelphia. The National Farm School (later Delaware Valley
College), open to all faiths, began the following year with 10
students. Krauskopf had met Leo Tolstoy on an 1894 trip to Russia,
during which the author of "War and Peace" said US immigrants would
be better off tilling soil than living in cramped industrial cities.
In 2010 the Warwick Foundation of Bucks County gave the school an
estimated $30 million in property and cash.
1897 Feb 2, Fire destroyed the
Pennsylvania state capitol in Harrisburg. A new statehouse was
dedicated on the same site nine years later.
1897 May 14, "Stars and Stripes
Forever" by John Phillip Sousa was performed for the first time in
1897 Sep 10, Police shot at
striking mine workers in Pennsylvania and 20 people were killed.
1897 Sep 11, A strike by some
75,000 coal miners in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia
ended after 10 weeks. Concessions included an eight-hour work day,
semi-monthly pay, and the abolition of company stores (which were
famous for over charging workers). The day before, about 20 miners
were killed when sheriff's deputies opened fire on them in
(AP, 9/11/97)(MC, 9/11/01)
1899 The Univ. of Pennsylvania
Museum of Archeology and Anthropology opened.
(WSJ, 5/7/03, p.D10)
1900 The construction of the
rococo City Hall in Philadelphia was completed. The architect was
John McArthur Jr.
(SFEC, 8/16/98, p.T1)
1900 In Philadelphia, Pa., the
8-million, 110-room Lynnewood Hall, home to the uber-wealthy Widener
family, was completed. It came to be called "the last of the
American Versailles." French landscape architect Jacques Greber
designed the formal French gardens, which were graced by his brother
Henri-Louis Greber's fountain of bronze and marble statuary. P.A.B.
Widener's son, Joseph, died there in 1943 and the younger generation
deemed the property too large to maintain. Much of the acreage was
sold to developers and the opulent furnishings were auctioned. In
1952, the Rev. Carl McIntire of Collingswood, N.J., a controversial
fundamentalist preacher, bought the property for $190,000 and
established a Christian seminary. In 1993 New York physician Richard
Sei-Oung Yoon, a former student of McIntire and one-time chancellor
of the cash-strapped seminary, bought its mortgage for $1.6 million
with plans of establishing his own church there.
1901 Jan 1, The 1st annual
Mummers parade was held in Philadelphia.
(SFC, 12/31/00, p.A10)
1901 Feb 25, United States
Steel Corp. was incorporated by J.P. Morgan Charles Schwab and
Andrew Carnegie. Morgan combined Federal Steel and Carnegie Steel to
form US Steel. It was the biggest corporate merger of the time. As
president of US Steel Schwab acquired the Bethlehem Steel. In 1904
Schwab resigned his position at US Steel to run Bethlehem Steel.
(AP, 2/25/98)(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R42)(WSJ, 5/12/03,
p.A6)(WSJ, 10/8/08, p.A15)
1901 Jan 28, Byron Bancroft
Johnson announced that the American League would play the 1901
baseball season as a major league and would not renew its membership
in the National Agreement. The new league would include Baltimore
and Washington, DC, recently abandoned by the National League. The
league would also invade 4 cities where National League teams
existed: Boston, Cleveland, Detroit and Philadelphia. The 8 charter
teams included: the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Americans, Chicago
White Stockings, Cleveland Blues, Detroit Tigers, Milwaukee Brewers,
Philadelphia Athletics, and Washington Senators.
1901 Jul 15, Over 74,000
Pittsburgh steel workers went on strike.
1901 The first US escalator,
manufactured by the Otis Elevator Company, was installed in a
Philadelphia office building. It was patented in 1859 and first
displayed at the 1900 Paris Exposition.
1901 The Pittsburgh Lamp, Brass
& Glass Co. (Pilabrasgo) began operations and continued to 1926.
(SFC, 2/21/07, p.G3)
1902 May 10, David O. Selznick,
film producer (Gone with the Wind, Rebecca), was born in Pittsburgh,
(HN, 5/10/02)(MC, 5/10/02)
1902 May 12, Over 100,000
miners in northeastern Pennsylvania called a strike and kept the
mines closed all summer. Owners refused arbitration and Pres.
Roosevelt intervened. [see Oct 3]
(LCTH, 10/3/99)(SFC, 10/4/02, p.A17)
1902 Jun 9, The 1st Automat
restaurant opened at 818 Chestnut Street, Phila.
1902 Oct 3,
President Theodore Roosevelt met with miners and coal field
operators in an attempt to settle the anthracite coal strike, then
in its fifth month. The country relied on coal to power commerce and
industry and anthracite or "hard coal" was essential for domestic
heating. Pennsylvania miners had left the anthracite fields
demanding wage increases, union recognition, and an eight-hour
workday. As winter approached, public anxiety about fuel shortages
and the rising cost of all coal pushed Roosevelt to take
unprecedented action. A presidential commission awarded the workers
a 10% wage increase and a shorter work week. [see May 12]
(LCTH, 10/3/99)(SFC, 10/4/02, p.A17)
1902 Oct 25, Henry Steele
Commanger, American historian, was born in Pittsburg, Pa. He wrote
the fifty-five volume "Rise of the American Nation."
(HN, 10/25/98)(MC, 10/25/01)
1903 Oct 1, The Pittsburgh
Pirates defeated the home team Boston Pilgrims (Red Sox), 7-3, in
the first World Series game. Boston, however, went on to win the
series, five games to three.
1903 Oct 13, Boston defeated
Pittsburgh in baseball’s first World Series. In 2003 Roger I. Abrams
authored "The First World Series and the Baseball Fanatics of 1903;"
Louis P. Masur authored "Autumn Glory: Baseball's First World
Series;" and Bob Ryan authored "When Boston Won the World Series."
(WSJ, 7/8/96, p.A8)(HN, 10/13/98)(WSJ, 3/28/03,
p.W9)(SSFC, 6/8/03, p.M6)
1903 The 1st trolley with an
electric 3rd rail was installed in Scranton, Pa.
(SFEC, 9/26/99, p.B8)
1903 Andrew Carnegie donated
$1.5 million for the construction of 2 dozen libraries in
(Econ, 2/14/09, p.40)
1904 Jan 25, Two-hundred (179)
coal miners were entombed in an explosion in Cheswick, Pennsylvania.
(HN, 1/25/99)(MC, 1/25/02)
1904 Feb 29, Jimmy Dorsey
(d.1957), orchestra leader, was born in Shenandoah, Pa.
(HN, 2/29/00)(AP, 2/29/04)
1904 Dec 10, Charles M. Schwab
incorporated a revamped Bethlehem Steel. As president of US Steel he
had acquired the Pennsylvania steel maker in 1901. Schwab resigned
his position at US Steel to run Bethlehem Steel. In 2008 Kenneth
Warren authored “Bethlehem Steel: Builder and Arsenal of America."
(WSJ, 10/8/08, p.A15)
1905 Jan 31, John O'Hara,
novelist (Appointment at Samarra), was born in Pottsville, Penn.
(SSFC, 8/31/03, p.M2)
1905 Jun 11, Pennsylvania
Railroad debuted the fastest train in world (NY-Chicago in 18 hrs).
1905 Jun, In Pittsburgh, Penn.,
the world's 1st theater geared exclusively for motion pictures
(SFC, 9/28/99, p.A27)
1905 Nov 19, Tommy Dorsey, band
leader, was born in Shenandoah, Pa.
1905 Dec 7, Leonard H.
Goldenson (d.1999), later chief of ABC broadcasting, was born in
(SFC, 12/28/99, p.B3)
1906 Apr 16, In Pennsylvania 3
men were shot dead in a riot among striking coal miners at Windber.
An appeal was made to Gov. Pennypacker for troops.
(SFC, 4/17/06, p.A9)
1906 Jul 17, American
playwright Clifford Odets was born in Philadelphia.
1906 Oct 22, 3000 blacks
demonstrated and rioted in Philadelphia.
1906 Dec 27, Oscar Levant,
American composer and actor, was born in Pittsburgh.
1906 The Capital building in
Harrisburg, Pa., featured a dome modeled on St. Peter’s in Rome.
(SSFC, 4/13/03, p.D6)
1906 The John C. Bell building
was completed in Philadelphia, Pa. It was later listed on the
National Register of Historic Places.
(SFC, 1/13/14, p.A4)
1907 May, The idea of a day set
apart every year to honor motherhood is credited to Anna Jarvis of
Philadelphia, who, in 1907, suggested the wearing of carnations on
the second Sunday in May to honor mothers. Her enthusiastic campaign
for a nationwide observance attracted enough public support that
President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation designating the
second Sunday in May 1914 the first national Mother’s Day.
1907 Dec 19, A gas explosion
killed 239 workers in a coal mine in Jacobs Creek, Pa.
(AP, 12/19/97)(MC, 12/19/01)
1907 Dec 23, The 1st all-steel
passenger railroad coach was completed at Altoona, Pa.
1907 Dec 24, I.F. Stone
(d.1989), American investigative journalist, was born in
Philadelphia. "Those who nobly set out to be their brother's keeper
sometimes end up by becoming his jailer. Every emancipation has in
it the seeds of a new slavery, and every truth easily becomes a
(AP, 10/17/99)(AP, 12/24/07)
1907 Milton Hershey, chocolate
tycoon, opened Hershey Park, an admission-free amusement park in
(SSFC, 4/13/03, p.D6)
1907 Clayton S. Reaser
purchased a 5-year old Pennsylvania furniture company named
Gettysburg Manufacturing Co. and renamed it Reaser Furniture
(SFC, 1/10/07, p.G2)
1907 Charles B. Gillespie,
physician and artist, died in Pennsylvania. He had traveled to
California during the gold rush and made a number of sketches,
including depictions of Sutter’s Mill, some of which he turned into
paintings upon returning to Freeport in 1851. In 2008 119
pen-and-ink sketches and 5 oil paintings were put up for auction.
(SSFC, 11/23/08, p.B9)
1908 May 10, The first Mother’s
Day observance took place during church services in Grafton, W.Va.,
and Philadelphia. In 1997 Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia first proposed
the idea that all mothers wear a carnation on the 2nd Sunday of May.
(AP, 5/10/97)(SFC, 9/30/99, p.E5)
1908 May 20, Jimmy Stewart,
actor, was born in Indiana, Pa. He is best remembered for his roles
in "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington."
(WSJ, 5/20/97, p.A18)(HN, 5/20/99)(AP, 5/20/08)
1908 Nov 18, Imogene Coca
d.2001), later co-star with Sid Caesar of the 1950s "Your Show of
Shows" TV program, was born in Philadelphia.
(SSFC, 6/3/01, p.A29)(AP, 11/18/08)
1908 Nov 28, 154 men died in a
coal mine explosion at Marianna, Pa.
1908 In Pennsylvania the
Rotunda Building in Philadelphia opened as the Girard Trust. It was
built as a replica of the Pantheon in Rome. In 2000 it was converted
from a bank into a Ritz-Carlton Hotel.
(SSFC, 5/25/14, p.P4)
1908 The Univ. of Pittsburgh
introduced the 1st football jerseys with numbers on the back.
(SFC, 10/1/99, p.B6)
1909 Nov 13, In Pennsylvania
the Cherry Mine disaster killed 259 men and boys. In 2002 Karen
Tintori authored “Trapped: The 1909 Cherry Mine Disaster."
1909 Dec 14, The Labor
Conference in Pittsburgh ended with a "declaration of war" on U.S.
1909 Harry V. Warehime
established Hanover Pretzel Company in Pennsylvania with a single
recipe, Hanover Olde Tyme Pretzels.
1909 In Hershey, Pennsylvania,
Milton Hershey and his wife Catherine established the Milton Hershey
School for the "maintenance, support and education of as many poor,
white orphan boys as it could afford." The racial restriction ended
in 1970. By 2002 the 1200-student school had an endowment of some
(WSJ, 8/12/99, p.A1)(SFC, 7/26/02, p.B3)
1909 The Pittsburgh Pirates,
led by pitcher Honus Wagner, defeated the Detroit Tigers 4-3 in the
World Series. This marked the last world series appearance by Ty
(SFC, 10/2/99, p.A20)
1910 May 23, Franz Kline
(d.1962), American painter of abstract expressionist style, was born
in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
1910 Aug 15, Hugo Winterhalter,
composer, was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
1910 Nov 27, In NYC the
Pennsylvania Railroad began service at Pennsylvania Station. It was
begun under the direction of PRR president Alexander J. Cassatt
(d.1906) and designed by the architectural firm of McKim, Mead and
White. In 2007 Jill Jonnes authored “Conquering Gotham: A Gilded Age
Epic: The Construction of Penn Station and its Tunnels." Penn
Station was demolished in 1963.
(AP, 11/27/06)(Econ, 4/14/07, p.95)(SSFC, 7/8/07,
1910 Dec 19, Rayon was 1st
commercially produced by Marcus Hook in Penn.
1910 In Philadelphia John
Wanamaker’s The Grand Depot department store, was replaced by a
250-foot tall, 12-story edifice known as Wanamaker’s.
(ON, 12/05, p.6)
1911 Oct, The Philadelphia
Athletics, forerunners of the Oakland A’s, won the World Series,
beating the New York Giants of the National League, today’s SF
(SMTS, 10/1/86, p.4)
1912 May 18, Richard Brooks,
director (Blackboard Jungle, In Cold Blood), was born in
1912 Aug 23, Gene Kelly, dancer
and actor who starred in "An American in Paris" and "Singing in the
Rain," was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as Eugene Curan. Kelly
debuted on Broadway in 1938 musical "Pal Joey" and in the film "For
Me and My Gal" four years later
(HN, 8/23/98)(MC, 8/23/02)
1912 Nov 9, The football team
of Pennsylvania’s Carlisle Indian School, with running back Jim
Thorpe, defeated the Army team, with Dwight D. Eisenhower as
linebacker, 27-6. In 2007 Sally Jenkins authored “The Real
Americans: The Team That Changed a Game, a People, a Nation."
1912 Engraver George T. Morgan
is believed to have produced 5 Liberty Head V nickels at the
Philadelphia Mint with a 1913 stamped date. In 2004 one sold for $3
(WSJ, 5/20/04, p.C1)(SFC, 4/27/13, p.A4)
1912-1938 Leopold Stokowski was the music director
of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
(Hem, 6/96, p.107)(WSJ, 2/11/99, p.A24)
1913 May 18, Perry Como
(Pierino Roland Como, d. 2001), singer, was born in Canonsburg, Pa.
(SSFC, 5/13/01, p.A27)
1913 Dec 1, The first drive-in
automobile service station, built by Gulf Refining Co., opened in
Pittsburgh. [see Cincinnati in 1912]
1913 In Pennsylvania a fire at
the Red Ash colliery ignited a coal mine. As of 2009 it was still
burning and was the oldest of 36 ongoing mine fires.
(Econ, 3/14/09, p.34)
1914 Apr 19, Charles Sanders
Peirce (b.1839), American polymath, philosopher and scientist, died
in Milford, Pa. In 1883 he used randomization in a psychological
experiment at Johns Hopkins Univ.
1915 Geisinger Health Systems
was founded in Pennsylvania.
(Econ, 6/18/11, p.75)
1916 Jul 28, Laird Cregar,
actor (Charley's Aunt, Hangover Square), was born in Phila.
1916 The Mercer Museum in
Doylestown was completed by Henry Chapman Mercer (1856-1930),
archeologist and collector.
(AH, 4/01, p.18)
1916 Charles Taze Russell
(b.1852) died. He founded the International Bible Students
Association. In the 1870’s Russell abandoned the Adventist movement
and formed his own in Pennsylvania, which was later named Jehovah’s
Witnesses. His early followers were called "Russellites."
1917 Apr 10, A munitions
factory explosion at Eddystone, PA., killed 133 workers.
1917 Jul 12, Andrew Wyeth,
painter who focused on the northeastern United States, was born in
Chadds Ford, Pa. In 1998 Beth Venn and Adam Weinberg published
"Unknown Terrain," a companion piece to a Whitney Museum exhibition
of his art.
(HN, 7/12/98)(MC, 7/12/02)(www.wyethcenter.com)
1917 Sep 26, Australian Private
Thomas Hurdis (26) was wounded in Belgium, and died on Oct. 3 in a
US field hospital in France. His skull with a bullet lodged in bone
between his eyes was later put on display at the Mutter Museum of
The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. On July 20, 2018, the
skull was buried in Hurdis' grave at the French Mont Huon Military
Cemetery in Le Treport in a ceremony attended by Hurdis' family and
1917 Oct 22, Leopold Stokowski
led Philadelphia Orchestra in its first recording.
1917 Theresa Bernstein, artist,
helped found the Philadelphia Ten, a female art group. It was
created in response to the Eight, a male-dominated group later
called the Ashcan School.
(SFC, 3/1/01, p.E2)
1917 John G. Johnson,
Philadelphia lawyer, died and left his home an collection of
Renaissance art to the city. Within 20 years the collection was
taken over by the Pennsylvania Museum of Art.
(WSJ, 7/18/03, p.W18)
1918 May 18, A TNT explosion in
chemical factory in Oakdale, PA, killed 200.
1918 Jul 25, A race riot in
Chester, Pennsylvania, left 3 blacks and 2 whites dead.
1918 Milton Hershey endowed the
Milton Hershey School with $60 million in stock.
(WSJ, 8/12/99, p.A1)
1918 The influenza epidemic
killed 11,000 people in Philadelphia.
(LSA, Fall/06, p.58)
1919 Feb 18, Jack Palance
(d.2006), later film and TV star, was born as Volodymir Ivanovich
Palahniuk in Latimer Mines, Pa.
(SFC, 11/11/06, p.B6)
1919 Nov 17, Hershy Kay,
composer and arranger, was born Philadelphia, Penn.
1920 Jan 15, John J. "Cardinal"
O'Connor, Roman Catholic Archbishop of NY, was born in Philadelphia.
1920 Nov 2, The first radio
broadcast of presidential elections in the United States was made by
radio. Westinghouse had built radio station KDKA on its factory roof
in Pittsburgh and was among the first to broadcast returns from the
Harding-Cox presidential election. 8MK, the first US station owned
by a newspaper (the Detroit News), also broadcast the election
1/12/98, p.A19)(HN, 11/2/98)(AP, 11/2/99)
1920 Nov 25, The 1st
Thanksgiving Parade was held in Philadelphia.
1921 Jan 2, Religious services
were first broadcast on radio when KDKA aired the regular Sunday
service of Pittsburgh's Calvary Episcopal Church.
1921 Jan 31, Mario Lanza
(d.1959), actor, singer (Great Caruso, Toast of New Orleans), was
born in Philadelphia.
1921 Mar 6, Police in Sunbury,
Penn., issued an edict requiring Women to wear skirts at least 4
inches below the knee.
1921 May 10, Nancy Walker,
Bounty ads, actress (Rhoda, McMillan & Wife), was born in
1921 Aug 5, The first radio
broadcast of a baseball game took place in Pittsburgh.
(WSJ, 10/15/98, p.B8)
1921 Aug 20, Jacqueline Susann,
author (Valley of the Dolls), was born in Phila., Pa.
1921 Aug 21, Nancy Kulp,
actress (Jane-Beverly Hillbillies), was born in Harrisburg, Pa.
1921 Nov 3, Charles Bronson
(d.2003), [Buchinsky], actor (Death Wish, Dirty Dozen), was born in
(SFC, 9/1/03, p.A2)
1921 Baldwin Locomotive Works
in Philadelphia built Engine 2472. In 1975 it was acquired for the
San Mateo Fairgrounds in California.
(SSCM, 12/2/01, p.15)
1922 Aug 26, The Philadelphia
Phillies beat the Chicago Cubs 26-23.
(SFEC, 7/25/99, Z1 p.2)
1922 Dec 12, John Wanamaker
(b.1938), US merchant who founded a chain of stores in Philadelphia,
died. He introduced department stores and price tags to the US and
became the first modern advertiser when he bought ads in newspapers
to promote his stores.
p.61)(Econ, 7/15/06, p.15)
1922 Mennonites from Canada and
Pennsylvania fled persecution and settled near Chihuahua, Mexico.
(SFEC, 6/1/97, p.T3)(SFEC, 11/5/00, p.T4)
1923 Jul 10, Jean Kerr
(d.2003), playwright and author, was born in Scranton, Pa. Her later
books included "Please Don’t Eat the Daisies."
(SFC, 1/7/03, p.A22)
1924 In Philadelphia, Pa., the
18-story Philadelphia Inquirer building was completed as home for
the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper.
(WSJ, 8/29/07, p.B1)
1925 Jun 25, Robert Venturi,
architect (Levittown NY, Las Vegas), was born in Phila.
1925 Dr. Albert C. Barnes
(1872-1951) built a mansion to house his collection of French
impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces in Merion,
Pennsylvania. The collection grew to some 2,500 objects and their
setup and access was highly restricted by Dr. Barnes’ trust
indenture. Barnes had made his fortune with a pediatric antibiotic
called Argyrol. By 2000 his foundation was broke. In 2003 John
Anderson authored ""Art Held Hostage," an account of the Barnes
(WSJ, 11/28/95, p.A-12)(WSJ, 7/18/03, p.W18)
1925 The Pottsville Maroons
beat the Chicago Cardinals for the NFL championship, but lost it on
a technicality after they played a college all-star team in
(Econ, 11/1/03, p.30)
1926 Sep 23, Gene Tunney
(1897-1978), an ex-marine, defeated Jack Dempsey for the World
Heavyweight Boxing championship in Philadelphia. Tunney defeated
Dempsey again in a 1927 rematch and retired undefeated in 1928. In
2006 Jack Cavanaugh authored “Tunney: Boxing’s Brainiest Champ and
His Upset of the Great Jack Dempsey."
(Smith., 5/95, p.12)(SFC, 10/19/99, p.A22)(WSJ,
1926 Oct 13, Ray Brown
(d.2002), jazz bass player, was born in Pittsburgh.
(HN, 10/13/00)(SFC, 7/4/02, p.A21)
1927 Feb 2, Stan Getz, jazz
saxophonist, was born in Philadelphia.
(SFC, 12/28/99, p.C4)
1927 Mar 11, The 1st armored
commercial car hold-up in US took place in Pittsburgh.
1927 Sep 17, George Blanda, NFL
kicker and quarterback (Bears, Oilers, Raiders), was born in
1927 Elsie Driggs created her
(WSJ, 4/9/98, p.A21)
1928 Mar 20, Fred Rogers,
television performer (Mr. Roger's Neighborhood), was born in
1928 May 19, "Firedamp"
exploded in Mather, Pa. coal mine killing 195 of 273 miners.
(DT internet 5/19/97)
1928 Nov 2, L. Stokovski
conducted the premiere of Dmitri Shostakovitch's 1st Symphony, in
1928 Andy Warhol (d.1987) was
born in Pittsburgh. He went to school there and graduated from the
Carnegie Institute of Technology.
(SFEC, 8/13/00, p.T11)
1928 Walter E. Diemer (23), an
accountant for Fleer Chewing Gum in Philadelphia, began testing
recipes for a gum base. He invented the first batch of bubble gum,
making it pink because that was the only shade of food coloring on
hand. It was sold under the Dubble Bubble name for a penny.
(SFC, 1/13/98, p.A19)(SFC, 8/2/99, p.A22)
1929 In Pennsylvania the Rodin
Museum opened in Philadelphia. In 2012 it re-opened following a
3-year, $9 million restoration.
(SFC, 7/13/12, p.A8)
1929 Lefty O’Doul hit .398
becoming the National League batting champ of the Philadelphia
Phillies. He went on to manage the San Francisco Seals and in 1958
opened Lefty’s, a bar in San Francisco.
(SFC, 3/5/96, p.C1)(SFC, 7/18/97, p.A9)(SSFC,
1930 Mar 17, James Benson
Irwin, Col. USAF, astronaut (Apollo 15), was born in Pittsburgh,
1930 Jun 2, Charles Conrad
(d.1999), astronaut, was born in Philadelphia. He walked on the moon
during the Apollo XII mission in 1969.
(SFC, 7/9/99, p.A6)
1930 In Philadelphia, Pa.,
Pat’s King of Steak’s opened at Ninth and Passyunk Ave. They helped
make famous the Philadelphia cheese steak sandwich.
(SSFC, 9/17/06, p.G5)
1930s Hubley Manufacturing of
Lancaster, Pa., made cast-iron toys that later became valued as
collectibles. The Arcade Manuf. Co. of Freeport, Ill., also made
(SFC, 1/28/98, Z1 p.3)
1931 Jan 20, Gifford Pinchot
(1865-1946) began serving a 2nd term as the 28th governor of
Pennsylvania and continued to 1935. His first term was from
1923-1927. Following the of Prohibition in 1933, Pinchot kept
restrictions on the sale of alcohol.
(Econ, 3/30/13, p.34)
1931 Apr 7, Donald Barthelme
(d.1989), US writer, was born in Philadelphia.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Barthelme)(WSJ, 2/21/09, p.W8)
1932 Apr 4, Vitamin C was 1st
isolated by C.C. King at the Univ. of Pittsburgh.
1932 Jul 25, Paul J. Weitz,
astronaut (Skylab 2, STS 6), was born in Erie, Pennsylvania.
1933 Mar 7, George Darrow added
some copyrighted art work to the board game Monopoly and began
selling it commercially in Philadelphia. He sold it to Parker
Brothers in 1934. The game had originally been patented in 1904 as
the Landlord’s Game by Elizabeth J. Magie. In Oct 1929 Ruth Hoskins
brought a version to Atlantic City, refined the rules and street
names. It was later introduced to George Darrow.
1933 Mar 31, Shirley Jones,
actress (Partridge Family, Elmer Gantry), was born in Smithton, Pa.
1933 May 7, Johnny Unitas
(d.2002), the son of Lithuanian immigrants, was born in Pittsburgh,
Pa. He became a NFL Quarterback for the Baltimore Colts and San
Diego Chargers. He was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in
1933 Nov 7, Pennsylvania voters
overturned blue law, by permitting Sunday sports.
1933 Dec 21, Dried human blood
serum was 1st prepared at the Univ. of Pennsylvania.
1933 Hugh J. Ward author a rule
book on Bingo. He had standardized the modern game at carnivals in
and around the Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania areas in the
early 1920's and went on to copyright the name.
1933 In Pennsylvania the
Pymatuning Dam impounded the Pymatuning Reservoir. It was
constructed to regulate the flow of the Shenango and Beaver rivers.
The reservoir later became a major attraction for tourists, who came
to feed the local carp.
(www.dnr.state.oh.us/parks/parks/pymatuning.htm)(WSJ, 6/16/07, p.A1)
1933 Milton Hershey, chocolate
tycoon, opened Hotel Hershey in Hershey, Pa.
(SSFC, 4/13/03, p.D6)
1933 Art Rooney founded the
Pittsburgh Pirates football team for $2,500.
(WSJ, 7/8/08, p.A17)
1934 Feb 17, 1st high school
auto driving course was offered by State College, Penn.
1934 Jun 27, Anna Moffo,
soprano (Lucia, Traviata), was born in Wayne, Penn.
1934 Aug 24, In Philadelphia,
Pa., Philo T. Farnsworth (28), a San Francisco scientist, produced a
televised picture of the moon, the first recorded use of television
(SSFC, 8/16/09, p.46)
1934 Pennsylvania passed
legislation to limit alcohol consumption and protect the state's
brewers from outside competition.
(WSJ, 3/23/04, p.B5)
1935 Feb 10, Pennsylvania RR
began passenger service with new electric locomotive.
1935 Apr 21, Charles Grodin,
actor, Woman in Red, Lonely Guy, Heartbreak Kid), was born in
1935 Dec 4, Some 1,200 at St
Joseph's College, Philadelphia, enrolled in an anticommunism class.
1935 The Pittsburgh Crawfords
were considered to have been the greatest Negro League baseball team
of all time.
(SFEC, 4/12/98, p.T4)
1936 Jun 11, Presbyterian
Church of America was founded at Philadelphia.
1936 Aug 21, Wilt Chamberlain
(d.1999 at age 63), later basketball star, was born in Philadelphia.
From 1952-1955 he led Overbrook High School to a 56-3 record.
(SFC, 10/13/99, p.D4)
1936 Aug, Pres. Franklin Delano
Roosevelt accepted his re-nomination and gave his "rendezvous with
destiny" speech in Philadelphia.
(SFEC, 7/30/00, p.C17)
1936 Frank Lloyd Wright
designed the Fallingwater house near Mill Run in Western
Pennsylvania. He was warned by structural engineers that there was
not enough support for the cantilevered floors, but dismissed their
warnings. Sag began immediately after construction and in 1997 steel
support beams were added as a temporary measure. Edgar Kaufmann Jr.
later published "Fallingwater, A Frank Lloyd Wright House."
(WSJ, 10/24/97, p.B18)(SFEC, 2/20/00, p.T10)
1936 Moses Annenberg bought the
Philadelphia Enquirer, a reputed bible of Republican politics.
(SFC, 10/2/02, p.A2)
1936 A major flood hit
Pittsburgh. Pennsylvania soon passed a 10% tax on alcohol in an
emergency measure to help cover the flood damage. Repairs were
completed in about 5 years, but the tax remained and was later
increased twice to 15% and then 18%.
(WSJ, 6/29/99, p.A1)(WSJ, 8/15/08, p.A11)
1938 Jun 24, A 500 ton
meteorite landed near Pittsburgh.
1938 Jul 4, 1st game at Shribe
Park, Phila; Braves beat Phillies 10-5.
1938 Jul 14, Owen Wister
(b.1860), novelist, died. His 1902 novel "The Virginian"
inspired 5 films. He had earlier begun a novel set in his native
Philadelphia but stopped work on it when his wife died during
childbirth on Aug 24, 1913.
(HN, 7/14/01)(SFC, 1/9/02, p.D8)
1938 Nov 8, Crystal Bird Fauset
of Pa., became the first African American woman to be elected to a
1938 Tennessee Williams wrote
his play "Not About Nightingales." It was based on an incident in
Pennsylvania's Philadelphia County prison, where 4 inmates died
after 25 inmates, who threatened a hunger strike due to bad food,
were locked in an isolation chamber with giant radiators pumping
(WSJ, 3/3/99, p.A17)
1938 Byron White signed a
$15,800 contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates becoming the NFL’s
first big money player. He later served for 31 years as a US Supreme
(WSJ, 7/8/08, p.A17)
1939 Jun 6, In Pennsylvania the
first Little League baseball game was played. The league was founded
by Carl Stotz in Williamsport. The Little League World Series began
in 1947. Girls were banned from 1951-1974.
(SSFC, 6/1/14, Par. p.8)
1939 Aug 11, Moses Annenberg,
owner of the Philadelphia Enquirer, was indicted by a federal jury
in Chicago for evading some $3.2 million in income taxes.
(SFC, 10/2/02, p.A2)
1939 St. John Terell (d.1998 at
81), actor and impresario, founded the Bucks County Playhouse in New
(SFC, 10/21/98, p.C3)
1939 Jim Rex founded the Ranger
Joe Breakfast Food Co. in Philadelphia. It was sold in the 1940s to
Philadelphia businessman Moses Berger and sold again in 1954 to
Nabisco and renamed "Wheat and Rice Honeys."
(SFC,11/19/97, Z1 p.7)
1939 Latrobe Brewing of
Latrobe, Pa., began making Rolling Rock, a pale lager. It was later
acquired by InBev SA. In 2006 Rolling Rock was acquired by
Anheuser-Busch, which moved operations to Newark NJ. In 2008
Anheuser-Busch was acquired by InBev SA.
1940 Apr 20, RCA publicly
demonstrated its new and powerful electron microscope in
(AP, 4/20/97)(HN, 4/20/98)(MC, 4/20/02)
1940 Jun 24, The Republican
Convention, opened in Philadelphia. In 2005 Charles Peters authored
“Five Days in Philadelphia." An account of the convention and how it
freed FDR to move against Hitler.
(WSJ, 7/6/05, p.D10)(http://tinyurl.com/e3xrw)
1940 Jun 28, The Republican
Convention, held in Philadelphia, nominated Wendall Willkie (d.1944)
for US president on 6th ballot. Senator Charles L. McNary from
Oregon was his running mate. They were defeated by President
Franklin Roosevelt who won his third term. In 2005 Charles Peters
authored “Five Days in Philadelphia." An account of the convention
and how it freed FDR to move against Hitler.
(WSJ, 7/6/05, p.D10)(SFEC, 7/30/00,
1940 Oct 1, The first section
of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, 160 miles in length, was opened to the
1940 Oct 24, F. Murray Abraham,
actor (Amadeus, Mad Man), was born in Pittsburgh, Pa.
1940 Nov 1, 1st US air raid
shelter was made in Fleetwood, Pa.
1940 Art Rooney renamed the
Pittsburgh Pirates football team to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
(WSJ, 7/8/08, p.A17)
1940-1953 John W. Nason (d.2001 at 96) served as
president of Swarthmore College. From 1942-1945 he served as
chairman of the National Japanese American Student Relocation
Council and helped over 3,000 students out of detention camps and
into institutions of higher learning.
(SFC, 11/24/01, p.A21)
1941 May 26, American Flag
House, the Betsy Ross Home, was given to the city of Phila.
1941 Aug 28, Paul Peter
Plishka, bass (Met Opera), was born in Old Forge, Penn.
1941 Matt Cvetic (d.1962 at 53)
infiltrated the Communist party in Pittsburgh. The 1951 film "I Was
a Communist for the FBI" was based on his true story. In 2001 Daniel
J. Leab authored "I Was a Communist for the FBI."
(WSJ, 2/12/00, p.A25)
Jan 10, Jim Croce, (d.1973) rock vocalist (Time in a Bottle, Workin'
At The Car Wash Blues), was born in Philadelphia.
1942 Mar 26, 20 tons of
gelignite killed 21 in a stone quarry in Easton, PA.
1942 Nov 20, Joseph Biden,
later US Senator for Delaware, was born in Scranton, Pa. In 2008
Barack Obama named Biden as his vice presidential running mate.
(SSFC, 8/24/08, p.A15)
1942 Moses Annenberg, owner of
the Philadelphia Enquirer, died. His son Walter took over as editor
(SFC, 10/2/02, p.A2)
1943 May 31, Joe Namath, NFL QB
(NY Jets), $400,000 man (1969 Superbowl), was born in PA.
1943 Jun 17, Newt Gingrich,
later Republican Speaker of the House (1995-1998), was born in
(SFC, 11/7/98, p.A4)
1943 Richard James (d.1974)
observed a torsion spring balance bounce off a ship’s deck while
working at a Philadelphia shipyard and conceived the idea of a
"slinky" toy for children, named by his wife Betty James (d.2008).
In 1945 they founded James Industries. In 1998 the company was sold
to POOF Products of Michigan.
(IBCC, 10/97, #9)(SSFC, 11/23/08, p.B9)
1944 Jan 28, Leonard
Bernstein's "Jeremiah," premiered in Pittsburgh.
1946 Jul 6, Jamie Wyeth, artist
(An American Vision-Boston), was born in Pennsylvania.
1947 Feb 9, Bank robber Willie
Sutton escaped jail in Philadelphia.
1947 Sep 13, WPVI TV channel 6
in Philadelphia, PA., (ABC) began broadcasting.
1948 Feb 14, Winthrop
Rockefeller (1912-1973), later governor of Arkansas (1967-1971),
married Barbara Sears (1916-2008), the Pennsylvania-born daughter of
Lithuanian immigrants. They had one child, Winthrop Paul
Rockefeller, but the marriage dissolved in a high-profile divorce in
1954. Barbara Bobo Rockefeller, born as Jievute Paulekiute in
Noblestown, Pa., was featured as Miss Lithuania at the 1933 Chicago
World's Fair. She later was known as Eva Paul.
1948 Jun 2, Albert Innaurato,
playwright, director (Age in Soho), was born in Phila.
1948 Jun 17, A United Air Lines
DC-6 crashed near Mount Carmel, Penn., killing all 43 people on
1948 Jun 21, The Republican
national convention opened in Philadelphia. The delegates ended up
choosing Thomas E. Dewey to be their presidential nominee.
1948 Jun 24, The Republican
National Convention, meeting in Philadelphia, nominated New York
Governor Thomas E. Dewey for president.
1948 Jun 25, The Republican
national convention in Philadelphia chose California Gov. Earl
Warren to be Thomas E. Dewey's running mate.
1948 Jul 12, The Democratic
national convention opened in Philadelphia.
1948 Jul 15, President Truman
was nominated for another term of office by the Democratic National
Convention in Philadelphia.
1948 Jul 24, Henry A. Wallace
accepted the presidential nomination of the Progressive Party in
1948 Oct 31, By this
date some 20 people died and 6,000 were made ill by smog from steel
and zinc plants in Donora, Pennsylvania. Between October 26 and
October 31, 1948, an air inversion trapped fluoride effluent from
the Zinc Works. In three days, 18 people died. After the inversion
lifted, another 50 died. Hundreds more finished the rest of their
lives with damaged lungs and hearts. Both plants closed in 1966. In
2002, “When Smoke Ran Like Water" was published by Devra Davis.
1948 The John Murtha Airport
opened in Jonestown, Pennsylvania. From 1989-2009 Congressman John
Murtha steered some $150,000,000 to the airport. In 2009 there were
a total of 18 commercial flights per week, all of which went to
Dulles Airport in Washington, DC.
(http://tinyurl.com/nsdv8k)(Econ, 1/23/10, p.26)
1949 Jun 16, A gas turbine,
electric locomotive was demonstrated in Erie, Pa.
1949 Aug 31, Richard Gere,
actor (Breathless, Cotton Club), was born in Phila., Pa.
1949 Pennsylvania enacted a
state law requiring the reading of 10 Bible verses each day in
schools followed by joint recitation of the Lord's Prayer and the
Pledge of Allegiance.
(SFC, 11/24/03, p.A18)
1949 There was a cholera
outbreak in Philadelphia, Pa.
(SFC, 3/8/14, p.C3)
1951 Jun 14, UNIVAC, the first
computer built for commercial purposes, was demonstrated in
Philadelphia by Dr. John W. Mauchly and J. Prosper Eckert, Jr.
1951 Jun 15, 1st commercial
electronic computer was dedicated in Philadelphia. [see Jun 14]
1951 Jul 24, Dr. Albert C.
Barnes, eccentric collector of impressionist art, died in an
automobile crash. [see 1925 Barnes] His will specified that his art
collection be kept forever in Lower Merion Township, Pa. In 2004 a
judge allowed trustees to move the collection to Philadelphia.
(WSJ, 11/28/95, p.A-12)(SFC, 12/15/04,
1951 Pennsylvania passed a law
requiring a loyalty oath from candidates for public office. In 2006
the oath was deemed unconstitutional.
(SFC, 8/28/06, p.A3)
1951 Elizabeth Ralph, physicist
at the Univ. of Pennsylvania, created the Museum Applied Science
Center for Archeology (MASCA).
(AM, 11/04, p.30)
1952 Mar 18, The 1st plastic
lens for cataract patients was fitted in Phila.
1952 Oct 7, The 1st "Bandstand"
broadcast in Philadelphia on WFIL-TV. Dick Clark joined in 1955 as a
substitute-host. [see 1956]
(SFC, 11/10/99, p.E3)(SFC, 4/15/00, p.D3)(MC,
1952 John J. Rigas founded
Adelphia Communications in Coudersport, Pa., with a dream and a $300
check for a local cable franchise.
(WSJ, 5/28/02, p.A1)(USAT, 7/9/04, p.3B)
1952 Crigler-Najjar syndrome
was named for two doctors who identified it this year. Patients
began living longer in the 1970s when doctors realized that the
wavelength and energy of blue light changes the nature of the
bilirubin, allowing it to be excreted from the body. In 2007 there
were about 110 known cases of Crigler's worldwide, including about
35 in the US. About 20 are among the Amish and Mennonite in
1953 Mar 26, Dr. Jonas Salk of
the University of Pittsburgh announced that a vaccine against polio
had been successfully tested in a small group of adults and
children. By April 1955, the vaccine had undergone further testing
and gained federal approval for public use, as shown in this photo
of Salk administering the vaccine at Colfax School in Pittsburgh.
Salk’s polio vaccine was so successful that by 1961 the incidence of
polio had decreased by 95 percent.
1954 Feb 23, The first mass
inoculation of children against polio with the Salk vaccine began in
Pittsburgh. Jonas Salk created the Salk vaccine against polio. It
used a killed virus to induce immunization. Poliomyelitis is a viral
attack of the central nervous system and can cause paralysis and
death by asphyxiation. [see Apr 26] In 2005 David M. Oshinsky
authored “Polio: An American Story – The Crusade That Mobilized the
Nation Against the 20th Century’s Most Feared Disease."
(SFC, 6/21/96, p.A10)(HN, 2/23/98)(AP,
2/23/98)(Econ, 6/18/05, p.79)
1956 Jul 4, Independence
National Historical Park formed in Philadelphia.
1956 Dick Clark (27) joined the
TV show "American Bandstand" in Philadelphia after one of the 2
original hosts was arrested fro drunk driving. He was replaced by
David Hirsch for the last season in 1989.
(SFC, 11/10/99, p.E3)(SFC, 5/2/02, p.D1)
1956 Whirling disease infecting
the salmon family of fish was first detected in the US in 1956 in
Pennsylvania. It was native to Eurasia and caused by a fungus
carried in spores hosted by the Tubifex tubifex worm. In 1995 it was
detected in Montana fish.
(WSJ, 3/26/99, p.W10)
1957 Jan 3, The Hamilton Watch
Company was the first to introduce an electric watch in Lancaster,
1957 Aug 5, "American
Bandstand," a teenage dance show hosted by Dick Clark (1929-2012) in
Philadelphia, made its network debut on ABC-TV.
(WSJ, 3/24/97, p.B1)(SFC, 11/10/99, p.E3)(AP,
8/5/07)(SFC, 4/19/12, p.C5)
1957 Aug 21, Kim Sledge,
vocalist (Sister Sledge-We are Family), was born in Phila.
1957 Dec 2, The Shippingport
Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania, the first full-scale
commercial nuclear facility to generate electricity in the US, went
critical. [see July 12] It was taken out of service in 1982.
(SSFC, 4/8/07, p.A18)(AP, 12/2/07)
1957 Dec 18, The Shippingport
Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania, the first nuclear facility to
generate electricity in the United States, went on line [see July
1957 Bill and Daisy Myers
became the first Black couple to buy a house in Levittown
(Willingboro), Pa. State police were required to protect them. They
lived there until 1961. In 1999 Daisy was given a reception and an
apology from the Bristol Township Mayor Sam Fenton. Levittown was
created by William Levitt, who kept costs down by bringing in ready
made walls and buying appliances directly from manufacturers. In
2009 David Kushner authored “Levittown: Two Families, One Tycoon,
and the Fight for Civil Rights in America’s Legendary Suburb."
(SFC, 12/9/99, p.A6)(Econ, 5/31/08, p.28)(WSJ,
1957 Dr. Hilary Koprowski of
the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia developed an oral polio vaccine
and tested it in Africa (Congo). The Wister polio vaccine was given
to some 300,000 people in the Belgian Congo from 1957-1960. A later
theory held that reuse of needles during the immunization program
caused AIDS via “serial passage" that transformed the SIV virus into
HIV. In 1999 Edward Hooper authored “The River," a detailed
hypothesis for the origin of AIDS in Africa. Hooper suspected that
the Wister polio vaccine, produced from monkey kidney cells,
contained SIV virus. In 2000 a computerized study indicated that the
AIDS virus was introduced to humans about 1930.
(SFC, 2/2/00, p.A19)(SFC, 1/15/01, p.A11)(SFC,
1958 The Hearst Corp. launched
(SFC, 8/7/99, p.A9)
1959 The Rev. Willie James
launched a lawsuit that led to the desegregation of Willingboro
(Econ, 5/31/08, p.29)
1959 Bassetts produced 50 tubs
of borscht sorbet in honor of Premier Nikita Khrushchev’s visit to
(WSJ, 8/1/00, p.A24)
1959 Mario Lanza (b.1921) died
in Italy at age 38. He was born as Freddy Cocozza in South Philly. A
museum dedicated to the Italian singer is tucked inside of the
Settlement Music School of Philadelphia.
(Smith., 4/1995, p.95)(SFEC, 3/21/99, DB p.9)
1960 Jul 4, The 50-star flag
made its debut in Philadelphia. A 50th star was added to the
American flag in honor of Hawaii's admission into the Union on
August 21, 1959.
(HN, 7/4/98) (IB, Internet, 12/7/98)
1960 Aug 23, Broadway
librettist Oscar Hammerstein II (65) died in Doylestown, Pa.
1960 Oct 13, The Pittsburgh
Pirates won the World Series at Forbes Field with a 9th inning
homerun by Bill Mazeroski. A Univ. of Pittsburgh academic building
was later built on the site.
(WSJ, 3/25/04, p.D1)
1960 A mutated gene on the
"Philadelphia chromosome" was found to be responsible for chronic
myelogenous leukemia. It caused white blood cells to divide
(WSJ, 6/6/00, p.A1)
1962 Feb 26, Wilt Chamberlain
of NBA Philadelphia Warriors scored 67 points vs. New York.
1962 Mar 5, The US Supreme
Court in Griggs v. Allegheny County ruled that airports must
compensate people living in the near vicinity for noise and
1962 Mar 10, The Phillies
baseball club left the Jack Tar Harrison Hotel due to its refusal to
admit black players, and moved to Rocky Point Motel, 20 miles
outside Clearwater, Florida.
1962 Jul 28, 19 died in a train
crash in Steelton, Pa.
1962 The Philadelphia Warriors
basketball franchise with star Wilt Chamberlain moved to the SF Bay
(SFC, 10/13/99, p.D4)
1962 Walter Annenberg, owner of
the Philadelphia Enquirer, established the M.L. Annenberg School for
Communication at the Univ. of Pennsylvania.
(SFC, 10/2/02, p.A2)
1962 A fire broke out in a
garbage dump above an abandoned coal mine in Centralia, Pen. The
property had been deeded to the town in 1954 for $1. The fire spread
and burned for years. In 1983 US Congress approved $42 million to
help the residents move, and by 2005 only about a dozen residents
remained. In 2007 Joan Quigley authored “The Day the Earth Caved In:
An American Mining Tragedy."
(WSJ, 4/17/07, p.D6)
1963 Jun 17, The US Supreme
Court ruled 8-1 to strike down rules requiring the recitation of the
Lord's Prayer or reading of Biblical verses in public schools. The
case began in 1956 when Edward L. Schempp (d.2003), on behalf of his
son, objected to a 1949 Pennsylvania law requiring 10 Bible verses
each day followed by the Lord's Prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.
(AP, 6/17/97)(HN, 6/17/98)(SFC, 11/24/03, p.A18)
1963-1976 Albert W. Johnson (d.1998 at 92) served
in the US Congress. He was elected to the Pennsylvania House of
Representatives in 1946.
(SFC, 9/7/98, p.A21)
1964 Aug 28, Race riots took
place in Philadelphia.
1964 Nov 3, Philadelphia voters
approved $25 million to build a new sports stadium.
1964 Roger Abrahams
(1933-2017), American folklorist, authored “Deep Down in the Jungle:
Negro Narrative Folklore from the Streets of Philadelphia."
(SSFC, 7/2/17, p.C8)
1964 Stefan Lorant (1901-1997),
Hungarian-born filmmaker and writer, authored "Pittsburgh: the Story
of an American City." He wrote the book following a chance meeting
with Edgar Kaufman, the Pittsburgh department store mogul.
1965 Jan 13, The SF Warriors
traded Wilt Chamberlain to the Philadelphia 76ers for three players
and a reported $3 million in cash. The 76ers assumed Wilt’s $65,000
(SSFC, 1/11/15, DB p.42)
1965 The American Conservatory
Theater was founded by William Ball in 1965 in Pittsburgh. ACT moved
west and settled in at the Geary Theater in SF in 1967.
(SFEC, 3/8/98, p.W29)
1965 Richard Scaife (1932-2014)
of Pittsburgh, heir to the Mellon banking fortune, inherited $500
million. With more family bequests, income from trust funds and
investments he nearly tripled his net worth over his lifetime.
(SFC, 7/5/14, p.C4)
1967 Mar 7, Convicted Teamster
boss Jimmy Hoffa began an eight-year prison term at Lewisburg
Federal Prison in Pennsylvania for defrauding the union and jury
tampering. The sentence was commuted by President Nixon Dec 23,
1967 May 6, 400 students seized
the administration building at Cheyney State College, Pa.
1968 Feb 1, The Pennsylvania
Railroad and NYC Central merged into Penn Central.
1968 Sep, The Big Mac was
created by McDonald’s franchisee Jim Delligatti in Pittsburgh. It
sold for 49 cents.
(SFC, 9/10/98, p.B2)
1968 Oct 1, The cult horror
movie "Night of the Living Dead" had its world premiere in
1968 The Delfonics soul singing
group of Philadelphia recorded their hit "La-la Means I Love You."
(SFEC, 1/25/98, DB
1969 Jul 21, Riots in York,
Pa., left 2 people dead, Lillie Belle Allen (27) along with rookie
officer Henry Schaad (22). Schaad was mortally wounded 3 days before
Allen was killed. Over 60 people were arrested as one city block
burned. In 2001 Arthur (47) and Robert Messersmith (52) were
arrested for the slaying of Allen. In 2001 Rick Lynn Knouse (48) and
Gregory Henry Neff (53), former members of the Girarders white
street gang, were also charged in the murders. In 2001 York Mayor
Charles Robertson was arrested on homicide charges for allegedly
handing out ammunition to white gang members and exhorting them to
"Kill as many niggers as you can." In 2001 Thomas P. Smith was
accused in the ambush shooting of Allen. In 2001 Stephen Freeland
(49) and Leon Wright (53) were charged in the murder of officer
Schaad. Robertson was acquitted in 2002. Messersmith and Neff were
found guilty of 2nd degree murder. 6 white men were sentenced up to
3 years in prison. Wright's brother Michael implicated himself in
2003 and was charged for the murder of Schaad. In 2005 York city
officials announced a $2 million settlement with the children and
sisters of Lillie Belle Allen.
(SFC, 4/28/01, p.A5)(SFC, 5/10/01, p.A7)(SFC,
5/17/01, p.A2)(SFC, 5/22/01, p.A5)(YD, 5/24/01)(YD, 6/25/00)(SFC,
10/31/01, p.C2)(SSFC, 10/20/02, p.A7)(SFC, 11/14/02, p.A8)(BS,
6/26/03, 5A)(SFC, 12/7/05, p.A3)
1969 Dec 31, In Clarksville
Joseph Yablonski was murdered with his wife and daughter.
(SFC, 11/8/99, p.C2)
1969 Philadelphia initiated a
program of “career academies," which combined academic and technical
curriculums and gave students work experience.
(Econ, 6/19/10, p.34)
1969 Leonard Tose (1915-2003)
and several others bought the Philadelphia Eagles pro football team
for $15.155 million. Tose bought out his partners in 1977. He sold
the team in 1985 to Norman Braman of south Florida for $65
(SFC, 4/17/03, p.A23)
1970 Jan 5, Joseph A.
Yablonski, an unsuccessful candidate for the presidency of the
United Mine Workers, was found murdered with his wife and daughter
at their Clarksville, Pa., home. Nine people were later charged in
the killing including UMW Pres. W.A. Boyle.
(AP, 1/5/98)(SFC, 11/8/99, p.C2)
1970 Jun 21, Penn Central was
forced into bankruptcy. The default caught the market by surprise,
largely because commercial paper ratings were in their infancy. Fed
chairman Arthur Burns reacted by making discount window loans to
banks that lent to CP issuers.
1970 Apr 22, The first Earth
Day and Earth Week was celebrated and millions protested pollution
on Earth and their concern for the environment. The event was
organized by a 33-member committee in Philadelphia. Wisconsin
Senator Gaylord Nelson suggested Earth Day as a means to focus
national attention on ecological issues. Gaylord selected Pete
McCloskey as co-chairman. Organizers later identified 12
anti-environment members of the US House and Senate, 7 of whom soon
lost their seats.
(AP, 4/22/97)(WSJ, 5/12/99, p.A23)(SSFC, 4/18/04,
1970 The Shostakovich
(1906-1975) 13th symphony "Babi Yar," smuggled on microfilm to the
US, was premiered in the US by the Philadelphia Orchestra.
(WSJ, 6/29/99, p.A12)(http://tinyurl.com/69xuxx)
1971 Jan 25, The Philadelphia
mint made its 1st trial strike of the Eisenhower dollar.
1971 Jan, Fred Speaker
(1930-1996), attorney general of Pennsylvania, ordered the
dismantling of the electric chair at the Rockview Correctional
Institution on his last day in office.
(SFC, 9/17/96, p.A22)(http://tinyurl.com/6qxtu6)
1971 Mar 8, Catholic radicals
in Media, Pa., broke into the local FBI offices and stole documents
that revealed the agency’s illegal activities against radical groups
and leaked them to the media. In 2014 Betty Medsger authored “The
Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI." Prof. John
Raines (1933-2017) and his wife Bonnie were among the eight antiwar
activists who took part in the burglary.
(SFEC, 2/16/97, BR p.8)(SSFC, 1/12/14,
p.F1)(SSFC, 11/19/17, p.C9)
1971 Veterans Stadium in
Philadelphia opened. Demolition felled it in 2004.
(WSJ, 3/25/04, p.D1)
1971 Rev. Leon Sullivan
(1922-2001), a noted Philadelphia minister, became GM’s 1st black
board member. In 1998 Sullivan authored “Moving Mountains."
1972 Apr 5, The Harrisburg 7
trial ended in mistrial after 11 weeks. Philip Berrigan & Sister
Elizabeth McAllister were declared guilty, but only of smuggling
letters in & out of prison. Librarian Zoia Horn (d.2014) had
refused to testify at the trail, becoming the first US librarian to
be jailed for refusing to testify. She was freed after 20 days when
a jury deadlocked on conspiracy charges.
(www.well.com/~mareev/TIMELINE/1971-1972.html)(SFC, 7/16/14, p.E5)
1972 Nov 8, The Green Channel
of Manhattan became Home Box Office (HBO). Time Life gained control
of HBO in March, 1973. HBO soon began transmitting programs to cable
TV subscribers in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. The 1st cablecast was a National
League Hockey game.
(WSJ, 1/11/00, p.B1)(SFC, 4/3/01, p.C1)
1972 John J. Rigas incorporated
Adelphia Communications in Pennsylvania. The name came from the
Greek word for “brother." He took the company public in 1986.
1972-1975 Soul music peaked in Philadelphia. In
2004 John A. Jackson authored “A House on Fire: The Rise and Fall of
(SSFC, 11/7/04, p.M3)
1973 Eugene Ormandy (1899-1985)
ended his direction of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
1974 Feb 5, John Murtha
(1932-2010), became Pennsylvania’s Democratic representative
following a special House election. He became the first Vietnam
veteran to serve in Congress.
1974 Apr 11, United Mine
Workers president W. A. "Tony" Boyle was found guilty of
first-degree murder, for ordering the assassination of union
reformer Joseph A. "Jock" Yablonski in 1969. Yablonski, his wife and
daughter were murdered on December 30, 1969. Boyle had defeated
Yablonski in the UMW election earlier in the year-an election marred
by intimidation and vote fraud. In 1972 the election was set aside
by a federal court after Boyle had been convicted of illegal use of
UMW funds in the federal elections of 1968. In a new election held
in December, 1972, Boyle was defeated by rank and file reformist
Arnold Miller. Soon after the election Boyle was put on trial for
murdering the Yablonskis and was sentenced to three consecutive life
terms in prison.
(HNQ, 11/8/99)(SFC, 11/8/99, p.C2)
1974 Jul 29, The Episcopal
Church ordained female priests in Philadelphia.
1974 The Pittsburgh Area
Theater Organ Society acquired a Mighty Wurlitzer from the Prospect
Theater in Brooklyn for $5,000.
(WSJ, 6/29/99, p.A1,4)
1974 The $2.5 million, 393-foot
Gettysburg National Tower was erected on private land on the edge of
the Gettysburg Civil War battlefield site. It was destroyed in 2000.
(SFC, 7/4/00, p.A3)
1974 The firefly was named as
the official state insect.
(SFEC, 11/21/99, Z1p.2)
1975 Jan 12, The Pittsburgh
Steelers beat the Minnesota Vikings (16-6) in the Superbowl in New
Orleans. Bob McCurry of Chrysler Corp. introduced the auto rebate in
a 1975 Superbowl commercial.
1975 May 6, In hockey the
Philadelphia Flyers won the semifinal series over Boston 4 games to
1975 May 16, The Montreal
Canadiens won the Stanley Cup hockey finals in 4 games over the
1975 In Pennsylvania a company
called McAdoo Associates began operating to extract and recycle
metals from chemical wastes. The company accepted hundred of
thousands of gallons of paint sludge, waste oils, used solvents,
PCBs, cyanide, pesticides and many other known or suspected
carcinogens. In 1979, when the EPA stepped in, McAdoo Associates had
stockpiled enough chemicals to nearly fill an Olympic-size swimming
pool. The EPA placed it on the Superfund list and began a cleanup.
The US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry began
looking into polycythemia vera (PCV) in August 2006 after 97 cases
in Schuylkill, Carbon and Luzerne counties were reported to the
state cancer registry between 2001 and 2005.
1976 Jan 23, Paul Robeson
(b.1898), black athlete, lawyer, singer, died in Philadelphia. Lloyd
L. Brown later wrote the biography "The Young Paul Robeson: On My
Journey Now." His granddaughter Susan Robeson in 1981 wrote "The
Whole World in His Hands: A Pictorial Biography of Paul Robeson."
(SFC, 3/26/98, p.A26)(WSJ, 4/9/98,
1976 Apr 27, Jimmy Carter
clinched the Democratic presidential nomination by beating Henry
“Scoop" Jackson and Morris Udall in the Pennsylvania primary.
1976 Jul 4, The nation held a
200th anniversary party across the land in celebration of America's
200 years of independence. President Ford made stops in Valley
Forge, Pennsylvania, Independence Hall in Philadelphia, and New
York, where more than 200 ships paraded up the Hudson River in
(TMC, 1994, p.1976)(IB, 12/7/98)(AP, 7/4/01)
1976 Jul 4, The National Museum
of American Jewish History opened in Philadelphia. It was
established to tell the story of the American Jewish experience.
1976 Jul 21, "Legionnaire's
Disease" struck in Philadelphia, Pa. 29 people died from the
disease. The disease was first identified after an outbreak at the
Bellevue Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia. It was identified as
Legionella pneumophila and found to infest water systems in general
and the hotel ventilation system in this case.
(OGA, 11/24/98)(SFC, 4/13/96, p.A-17)
1976 Jul 27, Air Force veteran
Ray Brennan became the first person to die of so-called
"Legionnaire’s Disease" following an American Legion convention in
1976 J. Howard Marshall II
(d.1995), Texas oil tycoon and alumnus of Haverford College, Pa.,
pledged $4 million to Haverford. In 1994 Marshall married Playboy
Playmate Anna Nicole Smith (26) and by his death had donated less
than $2 million to the college.
(WSJ, 7/24/03, p.A1)
1977 Jun 19, Pope Paul VI
proclaimed a 19th-century Philadelphia bishop, John Neumann, the
first male US saint.
1977 Jul 20, A flash flood hit
Johnstown, Pa., killing more than 80 people and causing $350 million
worth of damage.
1978 Aug 8, James Ramp (52),
Philadelphia police officer, was killed during a standoff with MOVE.
9 members of MOVE, a Black group that espoused equality with animals
and preached against technology, were convicted. Members of the
group adopted the surname Africa.
1977 Sep, In Philadelphia Helen
"Holly" Maddux, a Bryn Mawr College graduate from Tyler, Texas, was
murdered and stuffed into a steamer trunk for 18 months until her
body was discovered. Ira Einhorn, "hippie guru" was arrested for the
murder in 1979 but released on bail. He fled to hide in France. Fred
Maddux, Holly's father, committed suicide in 1988. Einhorn was
convicted in absentia in 1993. In June,1997, he was arrested in
France. A French court ruled against extradition and released
Einhorn. Einhorn was arrested in 1998 under a new extradition
warrant. The events were broadcast as a TV crime story in 1999
titled "The Hunt for the Unicorn Killer." In 1999 The French Supreme
Court ruled that Einhorn should be returned to the US. In 1999 a
civil suit ordered Einhorn to pay $907 million to the Maddux family.
Einhorn was extradited to the US in 2001. he was convicted of murder
Oct 17, 2002.
(SFC, 6/17/97, p.A2)(SFC,12/5/97, p.A17)(SFC,
9/22/98, p.A3)(WSJ, 5/3/99, p.A20)(WSJ, 5/12/99, p.A23)(SFC,
5/28/99, p.D3)(SFC, 7/29/99, p.A8)(SFC, 7/20/01, p.A14)(SFC,
1978 Dec 13, The Philadelphia
Mint began stamping the Susan B. Anthony dollar, which went into
circulation the following July. This was the 1st US coin to honor a
(AP, 12/13/97)(MC, 12/13/01)
1979 Jan 21, The Pittsburgh
Steelers became the first team to win three Super Bowls as they
defeated the Dallas Cowboys 35-31 in Super Bowl 13.
1979 Mar 28, America's worst
commercial nuclear accident occurred inside the Unit Two reactor at
the Three Mile Island plant near Middletown, Pa., almost to
meltdown. Thousands living near the plant left the area before the
12-day crisis ended, during which time some radioactive water and
gases were released. A combination of mechanical and human factors
allowed the Unit 2 reactor to lose cooling water. It cost more than
$1 billion and more than a decade to remove the damaged nuclear
fuel. A 1997 study indicated increased cancer rates for people
(TMC, 1994, p.1979)(SFC, 6/8/96, p.A2)(SFC,
2/24/96, p.A3)(AP, 3/28/97) (HN, 3/28/98)(MC, 3/28/02)
1979 Nov 1, Mamie Doud
Eisenhower (b.1896), wife of former Pres. "Ike" Eisenhower, died at
a family farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
1979 August Wilson, playwright,
wrote "Jitney." It was set in the Hill District of Pittsburgh and
first performed in 1982.
(WSJ, 8/4/99, p.A20)
1979 The song "We Are Family"
by Sister Sledge became a hit. It was made the theme song for the
1979 Pittsburgh Pirates.
1980 Oct 2, Michael Myers
(D-Pa) became the 1st representative expelled in over 100 years
1980 Ron Perelman acquired
MacAndrews & Forbes, a Philadelphia candymaker, for $45 million.
Howard Gittis (1934-2007) advised Perelman on the acquisition and in
1985 joined Perelman and his MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings.
1980 Norman, Bruce and David
Johnston were sentenced to life in prison for the murder of 4
teenagers to cover up a family burglary ring.
(SFC, 8/21/99, p.A3)
1981 Dec 9, In Philadelphia
Mumia Abu Jamal shot and killed Officer Daniel Faulkner shortly
after the officer stopped William Cook, Jamal’s brother (see July 3,
(SFC, 3/28/08, p.A4)
1981 Philadelphia school
teachers stage a strike.
(SFC, 10/28/00, p.A9)
1982 Jul 3, Mumia Abu-Jamal
(b.1954), radio reporter and former Black Panther, was convicted for
the 1981 murder of police officer Daniel Faulkner in Pittsburgh.
Jamal supporters said he was framed. Prosecutors said Jamal shot
Faulkner after seeing the officer struggling with Jamal’s brother,
William Cook, who had been stopped for a traffic violation. In 1996
Jamal was still on death row. In 1999 Gov. Tom Ridge signed a 2nd
death warrant for lethal injection on Dec 2. In December, 2001, a
federal judge affirmed his murder conviction but ordered that
Abu-Jamal should either receive a new sentencing hearing or have his
sentence commuted to life in prison because of an error by the trial
judge in presenting rules of sentencing to the jury (see March 27,
1982 Sep 9, Robert Thibadeau at
CMU-10A: Pittsburgh Zoo Options: The zoo is a worthwhile place to
visit, but in my three years in Pittsburgh I have watched it
deteriorate for lack of funds. Fortunately they have this wonderful
'adopt an animal' program. The adoption can be a day or month.
Orangutanns (sic) eat light at $.75 a day or $22.50 a month, and for
$15 a day or $450 a month you get yourself an entire elephant.
Double that and you can probably have his name changed to Clyde.
Triple it and I bet they will let you dye him pink. Visitation
rights come with any adoption. The flyer is on my office door --
1982 Sep 25, Pennsylvania
prison guard George Banks killed 13 people including 4 that were his
1982 The Philadelphia Evening
and Sunday Bulletin closed.
(SFC, 11/24/16, p.D2)
1983 Jan 23, Joseph Coogan
(28), an auditor from Pennsylvania, was swept into the sea at
Pescadero Point, Ca. His remains washed up at Point Reyes six months
later but remained unidentified until 2005.
(SFC, 4/14/05, p.A1)
1982 Rich Skrenta (b.1967), a
freshman in Pennsylvania, developed Elk Cloner as a practical joke.
It was the 1st virus to hit computers worldwide and later became
known as a "boot sector" virus. When it boots, or starts up, an
infected disk places a copy of the virus in the computer's memory.
Whenever someone inserts a clean disk into the machine and types the
command "catalog" for a list of files, a copy gets written onto that
disk as well. The newly infected disk is passed on to other people,
other machines and other locations.
(AP, 9/1/07)(SFC, 9/3/07, p.C3)
1983 Oct 23, Jessica Savitch
(36), news anchor (NBC-TV), died in an automobile accident with
Martin Fischbein in New Hope, Pa.
1983 Nov 8, Wilson Goode was
elected as the first black mayor of the city of Philadelphia.
1984 May 26, A frisbee was kept
aloft for 1,672 seconds in Philadelphia.
1984 Aug 3, In Pennsylvania
Barbara Rowan (14) was raped and killed. Her body was found two
weeks after she went missing in Bensalem, Bucks County. In 2015
George Franz Shaw (55) and Robert Scott Sanders were arrested for
her rape and murder.
1984 Aug 22, The VW plant at
Westmoreland, Pa., produced its last Volkswagen Rabbit.
1984 A 60-by-13-foot tile mural
was created by Romare Beardon for a Pittsburgh subway station. In
2008 the mural was valued at $15 million as the station faced
(WSJ, 4/25/08, p.A2)
1985 Mar 12, Conductor Eugene
Ormandy (85), director of the Philadelphia Philharmonic for more
than four decades, died.
1985 May 13, Police in
Philadelphia dropped a bomb on the headquarters of the radical group
MOVE. A fire resulted that killed 11 people, 5 of them children.
Ramona Africa and her 13 year old son were the only two people to
escape the inferno at 6221 Osage St. Africa was charged with rioting
and conspiracy, was convicted and served 7 years in state prison. No
charges have ever been filed against any city officials or employee.
The lawsuit was re-opened in 1996. On Jun 24, 1996, a jury in
Philadelphia awarded $1.5 mil to the survivors of the MOVE cult. In
2013 the documentary “Let the Fire Burn," directed by Jason Osder,
covered the MOVE story with archival footage.
(SFC, 4/3/96, p.A-4)(USAT, 6/25/96, p.3A)(AP,
5/13/97)(SFC, 11/1/13, p.E7)
1985 May 31, Some 41 tornadoes
swept through parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and Ontario,
Canada, during an eight-hour period killing 88 people with over
1985 Berry Prevor and Steven
Shore of Long Island, NY, opened their first Steve and Barry’s store
Philadelphia, selling discount Univ. of Pennsylvania apparel. In
2008 the 276-store chain faced Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
(WSJ, 7/9/08, p.B1)(WSJ, 7/14/08, p.A1)
1986 Aug 5, It was revealed
that Andrew Wyeth secretly created 240 drawings and paintings of his
neighbor Helga Testorf, in Chadds Ford, Pa.
1986 A consent decree in
Philadelphia limited the number of prisoners who could be held in
city jails. Over the next 18 months police rearrested 9,732
defendants. In 2002 Ross Sandler and David Schoenbrod authored
"Democracy by Decree," a critique of "institutional reform
(WSJ, 12/30/02, p.A1)
1986 The Pittsburgh
Supercomputing Center opened.
(SFC, 3/9/98, p.A7)
1986 Abhay Ashtekar, a
physicist at Pennsylvania State Univ., proposed an explanation
called “loop quantum gravity" to relate quantum mechanics with
general relativity. This rivaled a popular alternative model called
(Econ, 9/30/06, p.89)
1986-1994 Robert P. Casey (d.2000 at 68) served as
(SFC, 6/2/00, p.D4)
1987 Jan 22, R. Budd Dwyer,
Penn. State Treasurer, facing prison for conspiracy & perjury,
shot himself to death at a televised news conference.
1987 Sep 17, The city of
Philadelphia, birthplace of the U.S. Constitution, threw a big party
to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the historic document.
1987 In the Philadelphia
mayor’s race Frank Rizzo lost to black accountant Wilson Goode.
Rizzo took 97% of the white vote while Goode won with 98% of the
(WSJ, 1/6/98, p.A20)
1987 Pennsylvania officials
declared the city of Aliquippa as economically distressed.
(WSJ, 5/27/04, p.A1)
1987 Hawks Aloft Worldwide was
conceived as a cooperative project by the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary,
in Kempton, Pennsylvania.
(NH, 10/96, p.41)
1988 Jan 2, An Ashland Oil
Company tank collapsed at Floreffe near Elizabeth, Penn., sending
more than 700,000 gallons of diesel oil into the Monongahela River.
1988 Jan 4, Drinking water
began to dry up in Pittsburgh suburbs because of a massive diesel
oil spill two days earlier that fouled the Monongahela and Ohio
1988 William Post III
(1940-2006) won a $16.2 million Pennsylvania lottery jackpot. His
annual installment payments of $498,000 after taxes led to problems
with siblings, his wife and girlfriend, who successfully sued for a
third of his earnings. In 1996 a bankruptcy judge auctioned off the
remainder of his prize payments to pay off his debts leaving him
with $1 million.
(SFC, 1/23/06, p.B4)
1989 Apr 12, Abbie Hoffman
(52), radical activist, was found dead at his home in New Hope,
Penn. He suffered from bipolar mental illness that was only
diagnosed in 1980. In 1996 Jonah Raskin wrote: "For the Hell of It:
The Life and Times of Abbie Hoffman." In 1994 Jack Hoffman, Abbie’s
brother, wrote a biography, as did Marty Jezer in 1992. His wife,
Anita, died in 1998. She wrote "Trashing," a fictional memoir of her
activity as a Yippie. In 1999 Larry Sloman published "Steal This
Dream: Abbie Hoffman and the Countercultural Revolution in America."
(SFC, 12/29/96, BR p.5,6)(SFC, 12/31/98,
p.D4)(SFEC, 2/14/99, BR p.7) (AP, 4/12/99)
1989 May 11, The Franklin Mills
mega-mall, the former Liberty Bell Racetrack, opened in
1989 Jul 29, Ji Yun Lee (20)
died in a fire at a church camp near East Stroudsburg, Pa. Her
father Han Tak Lee (54), a South Korean-born operator of a clothing
store in NYC, was arrested for arson. He was convicted of murder on
Sep 17, 1990. In 2006 Lee’s attorneys appealed to the state Supreme
Court citing new advances in arson investigations.
(SSFC, 12/10/06, p.A39)
1989 Oct, Al Martino, pop
singer, was inducted into the Philadelphia Hall of Fame.
(SFEC, 10/5/97, DB p.74)
1989 Nov 18, Pennsylvania
became the 1st state to restrict abortions after Supreme Court gave
states the right to do so.
1989 Philip Berman (d.1997 at
82), art collector and philanthropist, became chairman of the
Philadelphia Museum of Art. He had prospered and retired from the
trucking business and led a capital campaign that raised $63.4
million for the museum between 1989 and 1993.
(SFC, 12/2/97, p.A22)
1990 Apr 25, Dexter Gordon
(67), jazz saxophonist, died in Philadelphia.
1990 Aug 17, Pearl Bailey
(b.1918), Broadway actress, singer, died in Philadelphia from a
heart attack at age 72.
1990 Nov 11, Stormie Jones, the
world’s first heart-liver transplant recipient, died at a Pittsburgh
hospital at age 13.
1991 Apr 4, Pennsylvania
Senator John Heinz III, a leading 3-term Republican voice on health
and trade policy, and six other people, including two children, were
killed when a helicopter collided with Heinz’s plane over a
schoolyard in Merion, Pennsylvania. Mrs. Teresa Heinz took his place
as head of the family philanthropies. In 1995 she married Sen. John
(SFC, 9/25/99, p.A21)(AP, 4/4/01)(WSJ, 4/16/04,
1991 Jun 30, The federal
base-closing commission voted to shut down 17 military bases,
including the massive Philadelphia Navy Shipyard, in addition to
seven facilities ordered closed two days earlier.
1991 Jul 16, Frank Rizzo (70),
(Mayor-D-Phila, 1972-80), died of a heart attack.
1991 Alex Wolszczan and Dale
Frail at Pennsylvania State Univ. reported evidence of 3 extra-solar
planets (exoplanets) orbiting around the spinning remains of Pulsar
B1257+12. They found the pulsar in 1990 using the Arecibo radio
(SSFC, 9/30/01, Par
1992 Oct 27, In Oil City,
Pennsylvania, Shauna Howe (11) was kidnapped while walking home from
a pre-Halloween party. Her battered body was found 3 days later. For
every year afterward, the City Council voted to allow
trick-or-treating in the afternoon only. In 2004 a witness came
forward and police turned to DNA evidence. Two brothers were
arrested and convicted of murder and sexual assault. A third man
pleaded guilty to murder. In 2008 the city council voted to allow
Halloween back to night hours.
1992 Scranton, Pa., entered Act
47, a state program that provides assistance to financially
(Econ, 7/21/12, p.26)
1993 Jan 10, An unidentified
62-year-old man at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
underwent the world's second baboon liver transplant. The man died
less than a month later without regaining full consciousness.
1993 Mar 18, In Pennsylvania
Amish man Edward Gingerich outraged his normally peaceful religious
community of Rockdale Township, where he crushed his wife's skull
and used a kitchen knife to remove her stomach organs from her dead
body. Gingerich was diagnosed with schizophrenia and convicted of
manslaughter in 1994. After serving his maximum sentence of four
years in prison for the killing, moved to a mental institution in
Michigan before going to Indiana and eventually returning to
Pennsylvania and the Brown Hill Amish community in 2007. In 2011
Gingerich (44) committed suicide in a barn in Cambridge Springs, Pa.
1993 Jul 26, Ret. Gen. Matthew
B. Ridgway (98), US Army Chief of Staff (1953-55), died in Fox
1993 Oct 16, The Toronto Blue
Jays defeated the Philadelphia Phillies, 8-5, in game one of the
1993 Oct 17, The Philadelphia
Phillies defeated the Toronto Blue Jays, 6-4, evening the World
Series at one game each.
1993 Oct 19, The Toronto Blue
Jays took a 2-1 lead in the World Series by defeating the
Philadelphia Phillies 10-3.
1993 Oct 20, Toronto took a 3-1
lead in the World Series as the Blue Jays defeated the Philadelphia
1993 Oct 21, The Philadelphia
Phillies beat the Toronto Blue Jays 2-0 in game five of the World
Series; Toronto still led the Series 3-2.
1994 Jun 7, Vicki Van Meter
912) of Meadville, Pa., completed a trans-Atlantic flight, landing
in Glasgow, Scotland. She was accompanied by her flight instructor.
1994 Sep 8, A US Air Boeing 737
from Chicago crashed near Pittsburgh Int’l. Airport and killed all
132 people onboard. USAir Flight 427 crashed 6 minutes before it was
due to land.
(SFC, 5/12/96, p.A-14)(AP, 9/8/97)(SFC, 11/13/01,
1994 Nov 1, In Cherry Hill,
Pa., Len Jenoff and Paul Daniels clubbed to death Carol Neulander
(52), the wife of Rabbi Fred J. Neulander (53), under a contract
from Rabbi Neulander. Neulander stood trial in 2001 in New Jersey.
He was convicted of murder Nov 20, 2002 and sentenced to life in
(SFC, 10/20/01, p.A18)(SFC, 11/21/02, p.A6)(SFC,
1994 Nov 11, Eddie Polec (16),
a Fox Chase high school student, died after being clubbed to death
by students of Abington High School. On March 20, 1996, Carlo
Johnson (20) and Bou Khathavong (18) – believed by prosecutors to be
the ring leaders in the assault, although neither beat Polec –
received maximum five- to 10-year sentences for conspiracy.
Prosecutors believe the two organized the rumble and provided the
baseball bats. Anthony Rienzi and Nick Pinero, both 18, were
sentenced to the maximum 15- to 30-year terms for third-degree
murder and conspiracy. Thomas Crook (19) sobbed and apologized to
his family before receiving 14.5 years to 30 years on the same
charges. Dawan Alexander (18) who was convicted of manslaughter for
kicking Polec, received an eight- to 20-year term. Seventh defendant
Kevin Convey (19) had pleaded guilty earlier to third-degree murder
in exchange for testifying against the others. In February he had
been sentenced to five to 20 years. In 2000 Bryn Freedman and
William Knoedelseder authored "In Eddie’s Name: One Family’s Triumph
(SFEC, 5/14/00, BR
1994 The Andy Warhol Museum
opened in Pittsburgh.
(SFEC, 8/13/00, p.T11)
1994 Steven Spielberg helped
establish the Righteous Persons Foundation. In 2008 $1 million from
the foundation was given toward establishing a new Museum of
American Jewish History in Philadelphia.
(SFC, 7/4/08, p.E15)
1994 Judith Rodin (b.1944)
began serving as president of the Univ. of Pennsylvania. She served
until 2004 and in 2005 became president of the Rockefeller
1995 Aug 7, Ten days before he
was to be put to death for the murder of a police officer, black
activist and radio reporter Mumia Abu-Jamal won a reprieve from the
original trial judge in Philadelphia. As of 2008, his legal appeals
are still unsettled and he is a prisoner at State Correctional
Institution Greene near Waynesburg, Pennsylvania.
1995 Oct, Jonny Gammage died
from asphyxiation when police officers subdued him following a
traffic stop in Overbrook. In 1999 the Justice Dept. closed its case
against the officers due to lack of evidence that they used
(SFC, 2/19/99, p.A5)
1995 Dec 24, Fire broke out at
the Philadelphia Zoo, killing 23 rare gorillas, orangutans, gibbons
1995 Erie’s congressman Tom
Ridge became governor.
(WSJ, 7/13/00, p.A28)
1995 Abu-Jamal, in jail for a
1981 murder conviction, published "Live from Death Row."
(SFC, 1/22/99, p.A2)
1996 Jan 14, The Pittsburgh
Steelers defeated the Indianapolis Colts, 20-to-16, to win the AFC
championship. The Dallas Cowboys beat the Green Bay Packers,
38-to-27, to win the NFC championship.
1996 Jan 26, Olympic wrestler
Dave Schultz was fatally shot at the suburban Philadelphia estate of
John E. du Pont; du Pont surrendered 48 hours later. Du Pont was
later convicted of third-degree murder but mentally ill; he's
serving a 13- to 30-year sentence.
1996 Jun 27, Anne Marie Fahey
(30), the secretary of Delaware Gov. Thomas Carper, disappeared from
Wilmington after dining at a Philadelphia restaurant with Thomas
Capano. Capano, a prominent lawyer who had dated Fahey, was later
accused of her murder based on testimony from his two brothers. In
1998 Capano admitted that he disposed Fahey’s body but insisted that
her death was an accident. In 1998 Capano testified that Fahey was
shot accidentally by former mistress Deborah MacIntyre, who denied
the charge. Capano was convicted by a jury on Jan 17, 1999. On Mar
16, 1999, Capano was sentenced to death.
(SFEC,12/14/97, p.A4)(SFEC, 10/5/98, p.A5)(SFC,
10/27/98, p.A2)(SFC, 12/22/98, p.A2)(SFC, 1/18/99, p.A2)(SFC,
1996 Nov 13, An all-white jury
in Pittsburgh acquitted a suburban police officer, John Vojtas, in
the death of black motorist Jonny Gammage in a verdict that angered
1996 Binney & Smith Inc.
established the Crayola Factory Museum in Easton, Pa.
(WSJ, 4/30/98, p.A1)
1996 Peter Wright (1917-2007),
founder of started Wright’s Keystone Helicopter Corp. (1953), served
as the founding chairman of the American Helicopter Museum in West
(WSJ, 6/16/07, p.A6)
1996 David Nam broke into the
Philadelphia house of Anthony Schroeder (75) to rob him and killed
the retired police officer when he resisted with his own gun. Nam
was arrested in 1997 but fled to South Korea in 1998 while under
house arrest. In 2008 Nam was arrested by police in South Korea.
1997 Feb 23, In Philadelphia a
group of white men attacked a black family in the Grays Ferry
section. Nine men were tried in 1998 and 6 were convicted on a
variety of felony accounts.
(SFC, 2/10/98, p.A3)
1997 Feb 25, A jury in Media,
Pa., convicted multimillionaire John E. du Pont of third-degree
murder, deciding he was mentally ill when he killed world-class
wrestler David Schultz. Du Pont was sentenced to serve 13- to
30-years in prison.
1997 Mar 26, Former drug
counselor John G. Bennett Jr. pleaded no contest in Philadelphia to
charges stemming from a $100 million charity fraud. Bennett was
sentenced to 12 years in prison for fraud, tax violations and money
1997 Aug 12, Steel workers in
West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania ended a 10-month strike at
Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp. with a new contract. It was the
longest strike by a major steel company.
(SFC, 8/13/97, p.A3)
1997 Sep, Devon Capital
Management under John Gardner Black was shut down by the SEC. Mr.
Black was charged with fraud after losing millions in high-risk
bonds and derivatives and then trying to cover up the losses. Some
$70 million was lost from the investments of 64 cash-strapped school
districts in the state.
(WSJ, 12/26/97, p.A1)
1997 Oct 24, A firebomb killed
a grandmother, her daughter and three children in a blighted
neighborhood of crack houses.
1997 Oct 25, The Million Woman
March was in Philadelphia to revitalize black families and
communities drew an estimated 300,000 to one million people.
(SFC, 10/10/97, p.A3)(SFEC,10/26/97, p.A1)(AP,
1997 Nov 26, It was reported
that Philadelphia agreed with the Norwegian shipbuilder Kvaerner ASA
to a 99-year lease on 114 acres of the former Naval Shipyard that
includes 2 drydocks with the option to buy the property for 1 dollar
at the end of the lease.
(WSJ, 11/26/97, p.B8)
1997 Dec 21, Johnny Coles (71),
jazz trumpeter, died in Philadelphia. His records included "The Warm
Sound of Johnny Coles" and "Little Johnny C."
1997 The Zippo Manufacturing
Co. opened a Zippo museum in Bradford to celebrate its 65th
(Hem., 10/97, p.78)
1997 John Street, Philadelphia
City Council president and later mayor, proposed a rigid
anti-loitering law aimed at clearing city streets of panhandlers. An
estimated 4,500 homeless lived in Philadelphia at the time. A
campaign to move the homeless into shelters reduced the number on
the streets to 130 in 2004.
(SSFC, 6/13/04, A22)
1997 In Pennsylvania Ghassan
Saleh escaped from a federal prison near Bradford while working on a
grounds crew. He had been serving a sentence of almost six years
after being convicted of cocaine trafficking in Michigan. In
November, 2017, Saleh (66) was arrested after flying into New York
City from Lebanon, his native country.
1998 Jan 7, The book "A Prayer
for the City" by Buzz Bissinger was about Philadelphia mayor Ed
Rendell and his last 3 years in office. Rendell served 2 terms from
(WSJ, 1/6/98, p.16)(SFC, 1/4/00, p.A7)
1998 Mar 22, In Miles Township,
Pa., 11 students were killed in a cabin fire while on a camping
(SFC, 3/23/98, p.A2)
1998 Apr 13, An Amtrak train
collided with Conrail freight cars near Pittsburgh and injured 20
(WSJ, 4/14/98, p.A1)
1998 Apr 24, In Pennsylvania a
14-year-old boy was arrested after he shot a teacher to death and
injured 2 others during a dance for 8th graders in Edinboro. Andrew
Wurst (14) later pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and was
sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison.
(SFC, 4/25/98, p.A3)(AP, 4/24/03)
1998 May 10, In Clearfield,
Pa., Kimberly Jo Dotts (15) was hanged to death by teenagers who
planned to run away to Florida. Seven young people 14-24 were
arrested for murder and the trial of Jessica Holtmeyer (16) and
Aaron Straw (19) began in 1999. Holtmeyer was convicted Jan 28.
(SFC, 1/18/99, p.A8)(SFC, 1/29/99, p.A6)
1998 Jun 1, In Philadelphia the
largest transit union went on strike and shut down a system that
served 435,000 people a day. This followed 3 months of negotiations
with the transportation authority (SEPTA).
(SFC, 6/2/98, p.A5)
1998 Jun 10, Dr. Stephen
Grosse, a flamboyant gay dentist, was found shot dead in his burning
car near Philadelphia.
(SFC, 6/20/98, p.A3)
1998 Jun 15, Police and federal
agents and garbage trucks began Operation Sunrise in Philadelphia to
clean up a blighted neighborhood.
(SFC, 6/16/98, p.A3)
1998 Jun 20, Seven people were
killed on the Pennsylvania Turnpike when a Greyhound bus crashed
into a tractor-trailer parked on the shoulder. At least 18 people
were hurt. The driver was on his last run before retirement. he was
among the dead with his wife and boy that they took care of.
(SFEC, 6/21/98, p.A10)(WSJ, 6/22/98, p.A1)
1998 Jun 23, Laboratory grown
adult nerve cells were implanted into a human brain for the first
time to treat a stroke at the Univ. of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
(SFC, 7/2/98, p.A2)
1998 Jun, Federal prosecutors
accused 2 Amish men of buying cocaine from a local chapter of the
Pagan Motorcycle Club and distributing it to their friends at
"running around" parties (rumschpringes in Dutch).
(SFC, 7/2/98, p.A7)
1998 Jul 11, Public transit
resumed and the 40-day transit strike came to a tentative end after
a contract agreement was reached.
(SFEC, 7/12/98, p.A8)
1998 Aug 5, Marie Noe of
Philadelphia (69), was arrested and charged with murdering 8 of 10
children by suffocation over a 19 year period (1949-1968). In 1999
Noe (70) pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 20 years probation.
(SFC, 8/6/93, p.A3)(SFC, 6/29/99, p.A2)(AP,
1998 Sep 17, In Apollo,
Pennsylvania, nuclear-processing plant operators were ordered to pay
8 cancer-stricken victims $36.5 million.
(WSJ, 9/18/98, p.A1)
1998 Sep, The brown marmorated
stink bug (Halyomorpha halys), an insect not previously seen in
North America, was first collected in Allentown, Pa. It had probably
arrived several years earlier. It is known as an agricultural pest
in its native range of China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan.
(Econ, 9/10/11, p.36)(http://tinyurl.com/nkexo3)
1998 Dec 17, In Gabon Karen
Phillips (37), a US Peace Corps worker from Philadelphia, was raped
and stabbed to death in Oyem. 3 people were arrested in connection
with her death.
(SFEC, 12/20/98, p.C10)
1999 Feb 19, In Allentown, Pa.,
An explosion at a chemical processing plant in the Lehigh Valley
Industrial Park killed 5 people and injured 14.
(SFEC, 2/21/99, p.A7)(WSJ, 2/22/99, p.A1)
1999 Jun 18, In Norristown
Dennis Czaikowski (40) shot and killed Carol Kepner (54) and wounded
Maria Jordan (37) before being subdued by police following a
standoff at the Norristown State Hosp. where he had been fired.
(SFC, 6/19/99, p.A4)
1999 Aug 7, In China Song
Yongyi, a research librarian at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa.,
was imprisoned while collecting data on the Cultural Revolution. On
Dec 12 he was charged with "the purchase and illegal provision of
intelligence to foreigners." Yongyi was released on Jan 28, 2000.
(SFC, 1/26/00, p.A8)(SFC, 1/29/00, p.A8)
1999 Aug 16, Gov. Tom Ridge
ordered a lockdown of all state prisons following the escape Michael
McCloskey (43) and Anthony Yang (31) from the State Correctional
Institution at Dallas.
(SFC, 8/17/99, p.A3)
1999 Sep 7-19, Hurricane Floyd
caused one death in Caribbean and 56 in United States. Storm hit
Bahamas before striking Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New
Jersey, Virginia, Delaware, New York, Connecticut, and Vermont.
1999 Oct, The plum pox virus
made its first appearance in North America in Pennsylvania orchards.
(SFC, 11/27/99, p.A20)
1999 Nov 2, Democrat John F.
Street became the 2nd black mayor of Philadelphia with his win over
(SFC, 11/3/99, p.A17)
1999 Nov 21, A Penn State
student and a bus driver were killed when 4 charter buses crashed on
I-80 in heavy fog.
(SFC, 11/22/99, p.A9)
1999 Dec 5, W. Russell G. Byers
(59), a Daily News columnist, was stabbed to death as he fought off
a robber by a convenience store in the Chestnut Hill section of
(SFC, 12/6/99, p.B2)
2000 Feb 3, Nancy Hershey
Bromer, publisher of "Old News," died at age 78. Old News had begun
as a monthly magazine about Pennsylvania history in the 1980s and
later expanded to national and world history.
(ON, 3/00, p.3)
2000 Feb 5, An oil pipeline
began leaking and released some 25,000 gallons below the surface of
a frozen pond in the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in
(SFC, 2/7/00, p.A10)
2000 Mar 1, In Pennsylvania
Ronald Taylor (39) killed 3 people and wounded 2 at an apartment and
2 fast food restaurants in Wilkinsburg. In 2001 Taylor was sentenced
to death for the killing of 3 white men.
(SFC, 3/2/00, p.A3)(AP, 3/1/01)(SFC, 11/12/01,
2000 Mar 19, At Bloomsburg
Univ. a fire at the off-campus Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity killed 3
(SFC, 3/20/00, p.A10)
2000 Apr 21, In Sinking Spring
Carlos Angel Diaz Santiago (22) pushed the car of his former
girlfriend onto the tracks of an oncoming train. Candace Wertz (20),
her son (2), Cynthia Jacques (22), and her daughter (2) were killed.
(SFC, 4/22/00, p.A3)
2000 Apr 28, In Pennsylvania
Richard Baumhammers (34) shot and killed 5 people in a racially
motivated shooting spree in McKees Rocks. He was sentenced to death
(SFC, 4/29/00, p.A3)(BS, 5/12/01, p.3A)
2000 May 18, In Philadelphia a
91-year-old pier at a new open-air bar collapsed into the Delaware
River and 3 people were killed.
(SFC, 5/19/00, p.A3)(WSJ, 10/10/01, p.B1)
2000 May 21, In Pennsylvania a
commuter plane, returning from Atlantic City, NJ, crashed near
Wilkes-Barre and all 19 people aboard were killed.
(SFC, 5/22/00, p.A1)
2000 Jun 26, The new United
Religions organization planned a charter signing ceremony at
Carnegie Mellon Univ. in Pittsburgh. Episcopal Bishop William Swing
first announced his dream June, 1995, at Grace Cathedral in SF. A
41-member Global Council will coordinate activities. 24 members will
be chosen by a worldwide membership in 8 regional elections, with a
dozen at-large trustees and 5 seats from the current board. The
basic unit of the organization will be a group of 7 or more people
from a mix of religious traditions.
(SFC, 6/19/00, p.A1,5)
2000 Jun 18, A US F-14 Tomcat
fighter jet crashed during an air show at Willow Grove, Pa. Two
naval aviators were killed.
(SFC, 6/20/00, p.A9)
2000 Jul 3, The $2.5 million,
393-foot Gettysburg National Tower, erected in 1974, was destroyed.
(SFC, 7/4/00, p.A3)
2000 Jul 12, In Philadelphia a
WPVI News camera showed city police beat and kick Thomas Jones (30)
over nationwide TV. Jones had stolen a patrol car and shot at an
officer. Jones later pleaded guilty to carjacking and other crimes,
and was sentenced to 18 to 36 years in prison. Ballistic tests later
showed that Officer Michael Livewell was shot in the thumb by
another officer during their struggle with Jones. 13 police officers
were later suspended for up to 15 days in connection with the
(SFC, 7/14/00, p.A1,16)(SFC, 8/8/00, p.A5)(AP,
2000 Jul 31, The Republican
National Convention opened in Philadelphia.
(SFEC, 7/30/00, p.A1)
2000 Aug 1, In Philadelphia
police arrested at least 280 protesters and raided a warehouse site
used as a staging area for passive resistance demonstrations. 15
police officers were injured.
(SFC, 8/2/00, p.A9)(SFC, 8/5/00, p.A3)
2000 Oct 1, Pope John Paul II
on China’s national day, canonized as martyrs 87 Chinese believers
and 33 European missionaries killed between 1648 and 1930. He also
canonized Mother Katherine Drexel (d.1955), a Philadelphia heiress,
who became a nun.
(SFC, 10/2/00, p.A12)(Econ, 12/18/10, p.78)
2000 Oct 27, Philadelphia
teachers called a strike. Mayor John Street planned a talk with Gov.
Tom Ridge on arranging a "friendly takeover" of the school system by
the state to force teachers back to work.
(SFC, 10/28/00, p.A9)
2000 Dec 28, Masked men shot
and killed 7 people in a suspected drug house in Philadelphia.
(SFC, 12/29/00, p.A3)
2001 Mar 7, In Williamsport a
14-year-old girl at Bishop Neumann High School shot and wounded a
13-year-old classmate with a .22 caliber handgun.
(SFC, 3/8/01, p.A5)
2001 Apr 13, In Philadelphia a
fire at a boarding house killed 7 people. The unlicensed house was
home to seniors and disabled people.
(SFC, 4/14/01, p.A5)
2001 Apr 28, It was reported
that researchers at the Univ. of Pennsylvania had used gene therapy
to reverse a form of congenital blindness in dogs.
(SFC, 4/28/01, p.A3)
2001 Apr, Willie Stargell (61),
former Pittsburgh Pirates baseball Hall of Fame star (1962-1982),
died in North Carolina of a stroke.
(WSJ, 4/10/01, p.A1)
2001 May 13, Jason Miller (62),
actor-playwright, died in Scranton, Pa.
2001 Jun 17, Tropical Strom
Allison moved into southeastern Pennsylvania and killed 4 people.
This raised the toll from Allison to at least 43.
(SFC, 6/18/01, p.A7)
2001 Sep 11, 10:10 a.m. United
Airlines Flight 93, a Boeing 757 carrying 45 people, crashed
southeast of Pittsburgh. The plane had left Newark for SF but was
believed to be directed by hijackers to Camp David. Passengers
appeared to have overcome the hijackers. In 2002 it was reported
that Congress was the target.
(SFC, 9/12/01, p.A6,10,12)(WSJ, 9/12/01,
p.A1)(SFC, 11/6/01, p.A6)(WSJ, 9/12/01, p.A1,3) (WSJ, 2/24/05, p.A1)
2001 Sep 13, The data flight
recorder for United Flight 93 was found at the Pennsylvania crash
site. 18 hijackers were identified as ticketed passengers in the Sep
11 terrorist attack.
(WSJ, 9/14/01, p.A1)
2001 Sep 20, Pres. Bush named
Gov. Tom Ridge (56) of Pennsylvania to direct the new office of
(SFC, 9/21/01, p.A16)
2001 Oct 19, In Philadelphia
luggage, from a baggage locker that was deposited Sep 29, was found
to contain C-4 plastic explosives.
(SFC, 10/20/01, p.A17)
2001 Dec 9, An Amtrak Acela
train killed 3 people on tracks northeast of Philadelphia.
(WSJ, 12/10/01, p.A1)
2001 Dec 10, In Philadelphia a
gunman opened fire outside the Great Valley Shopping Center in East
Whiteland Township and killed 2 people. A 3rd was wounded.
(SFC, 12/11/01, p.A9)
2001 Dec 18, A federal judge in
Philadelphia threw out Mumia Abu-Jamal's death sentence for the 1981
shooting of a Philadelphia police officer and ordered a new
sentencing hearing for the former Black Panther alternately
portrayed as a vicious cop-killer and a victim of a racist frame-up.
Both sides appealed the ruling.
(SFC, 12/19/01, p.A1)(AP, 12/17/02)
2001 Dec 21, Gov. Mark
Schweiker announced an agreement on a state takeover of the
Philadelphia school system. Plans called Edison Schools Inc. to help
run the district.
(SFC, 12/22/01, p.A4)
2001 Dec 28, In Pennsylvania a
30-50 car crash on snow-slickened I-80 left 5 people dead near
Williamsport. Another 50 cars were involved in 2 pileups that left
at least 2 people dead.
(SFC, 12/29/01, p.A6)
2001 Dec, The $265 million
Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts approached completion. The
Philadelphia structure was designed by Rafael Viñoly.
(WSJ, 12/20/01, p.A13)
2001 Verizon Hall, home of the
Philadelphia Orchestra, opened at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia,
(WSJ, 5/18/06, p.D8)
2002 Jan 7, Louis Pollak, a
federal judge in Philadelphia, challenged the scientific validity of
fingerprint evidence. In March Pollak declared fingerprint id to be
the "bedrock of forensic science."
(SSFC, 2/24/02, p.A1)(SFC, 3/14/02, p.A3)
2002 Jan 25, In Pittsburgh 2
masked gunmen killed 2 men and a young girl in a sandwich shop.
(SSFC, 1/27/02, p.A17)
2002 Feb 4, A New Jersey
teenager (16) began a 2-day shooting spree on the outskirts of
Philadelphia that left 6 people dead. He was arrested Feb 22.
(SSFC, 2/24/02, p.A1)
2002 Apr 18, Researchers in
Pittsburgh reported a strain of Group A streptococci resistant to
erythromycin (the macrolide class of antibiotics).
(SFC, 4/18/02, p.A4)(WSJ, 4/18/02, p.A1)
2002 Jul 23, Chaim Potok (73),
rabbi and author of novels that included "The Chosen," died at his
home in suburban Philadelphia. "Literature presents you with
alternative mappings of the human experience."
(SFC, 7/24/02, p.A1)
2002 Jul 24, John Rigas (78),
CEO of Adelphia Comm. Corp., was arrested with his 2 sons on charges
of that they looted the company of more than $1 billion.
(SFC, 7/25/02, p.A1)
2002 Jul 24, In Pennsylvania 9
coal miners were trapped by a flood 240 feet underground. All 9 were
rescued Jul 27.
(WSJ, 7/26/02, p.A1)(SSFC, 7/28/02, p.A1)
2002 Jul 25, Encouraged by a
tinny tapping sound coming up from the depths, rescuers in Somerset,
Pa., brought in a huge drill in a race to save nine coal miners
trapped 240 feet underground by a flooded shaft.
2002 Jul 26, Hershey Foods in
Hershey, Pa., announced that it would put itself up for sale under
directions by the Hershey Trust Co.
(SFC, 7/26/02, p.B3)
2002 Jul 28, In Somerset,
Pennsylvania 9 coal miners, trapped July 24 by a flood 240 feet
underground, were rescued after 77 hours underground in the Quecreek
(SSFC, 7/28/02, p.A1)(AP, 7/28/03)
2002 Aug 7, Destiny Wright
disappeared at a sleepover with other children in Philadelphia.
Abdul El-Shabazz (18) was arrested the next day and led police to
(SFC, 8/10/02, p.A5)
2002 Aug 10, Leaders of Roman
Catholic religious orders, meeting in Philadelphia, approved details
of their plan to keep sexually abusive clergy away from children,
while retaining them in the priesthood, creating review boards to
monitor how their communities handle offenders.
2002 Oct 1, Walter H. Annenberg
(94), media tycoon, philanthropist and former ambassador, died in
Wynnewood, Pa. Biographies included "Legacy: A Biography of Moses
and Walter Annenberg" by Christopher Ogden and "The Annenbergs" by
(SFC, 10/2/02, p.A2)
2002 Oct 15, A listeria
outbreak blamed for at east 7 deaths in the northeast was traced to
a Wampler Foods plant in Franconia, Pa.
(SFC, 10/16/02, p.A5)
2002 Oct 17, Ira Einhorn, the
'70s hippie guru who had fled to Europe after being charged with
murder, was convicted in Philadelphia of killing his girlfriend,
Holly Maddux, and stuffing her corpse in his closet a
quarter-century earlier. He was later sentenced to life without
2002 Nov 10, A series of
pulverizing storms barreled through more than a half-dozen US states
including Tennessee, Ohio, Alabama, Mississippi and Pennsylvania,
killing at least 36 people. More than 100 were injured.
(SFC, 11/12/02, p.A4)(AP, 11/10/07)
2002 Semion Mogilevich
(b.1946), a Ukrainian businessman, and Igor Fisherman were indicted
in Philadelphia on charges of money laundering and securities fraud
in connection with the collapse of YBM Magnex, Inc. in which
investors lost some $150 million. In 2006 Mogilevich was under
investigation for possible links to natural gas deals between Russia
(WSJ, 12/22/06, p.A11)
2002 The US Geological Survey
estimated there may be 1.9 trillion cubic feet of gas in the
Marcellus Shale of Pennsylvania. In 2008 Prof. Terry Engelder of
Pennsylvania State Univ. estimated the amount at 168 trillion cubic
feet. US consumption in 2007 was 23.05 trillion. The Marcellus shale
formation stretched some 600 miles along the Appalachians from New
York to West Virginia.
(WSJ, 4/2/08, p.A2)(Econ, 3/16/13, SR p.6)
2003 Mar, Philadelphia school
officials began an inventory of stored art. By 2004 some 1,200 works
were counted with an estimated value in the millions.
(SFC, 7/8/04, p.A2)
2003 Apr 19, In northeast
Pennsylvania Hadley Bilger (13) was abducted by her uncle after he
shot and killed her parents. Bilger was released the next day and
Robert Lee Hixson (42) surrendered to police.
(AP, 4/20/03)(SFC, 4/21/03, p.A3)
2003 Apr 24, In Red Lion, Pa.
James Shetts (14), a student armed with at least two handguns,
fatally shot Eugene Segro (51), his school principal, in a crowded
cafeteria before killing himself.
(Reuters, 4/24/03)(SFC, 4/25/03, A7)
2003 Jun 17, John Redwood (60),
actor and playwright, died in south Philadelphia. His plays included
"No Niggers, No Jews, No Dogs" (2001).
(SFC, 7/1/03, p.A17)
2003 Aug 28, In Erie, Pa.,
Brian Douglas Wells (46), pizza delivery man, was killed when a bomb
strapped to his chest exploded while under police custody. Wells
claimed a customer had strapped on the bomb and ordered him to rob a
bank. In 2007 a grand jury indicted 2 people in connection with the
crime. Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong (59), described as the ringleader,
pleaded guilty but mentally ill for killing her boyfriend to keep
him silent about the robbery. Diehl-Armstrong was trying to raise
money to hire Kenneth Barnes to kill her father due to an
inheritance dispute. In 2008 Kenneth Barnes (54) pleaded guilty to
conspiracy. In 2010 Diehl-Armstrong was convicted for her role in
the robbery. In 2011 she was sentenced to life plus 30 years in
(SSFC, 8/31/03, p.A8)(AP, 7/11/07)(SFC, 9/4/08,
p.A7)(SFC, 11/2/10, p.A5)(SFC, 3/1/11, p.A4)
2003 Nov 14, In Pittsburgh,
Pa., a 3rd person died from an outbreak of hepatitis A that infected
nearly 600 people. They all had recently eaten at a Chi-Chi's
Mexican mall restaurant. Green onions were blamed for the outbreak.
(SFC, 11/15/03, p.A3)(AP, 11/16/03)(SFC,
2003 Dec 4, Federal prosecutor
Jonathan Luna was attacked after leaving his office in Baltimore
around midnight. His body was found 6 hours later, stabbed 36 times
apparently in a furious fight for his life before drowning in a
Pennsylvania creek. Luna was involved in the prosecution of rapper
Deon Lionel Smith (32) and Walter Oriley Poindexter.
(AP, 12/5/03)(SFC, 12/5/03, p.A6)
2003 Dec 15, Charles Cullen
(43), a former nurse, was charged with murder after telling
prosecutors that he killed 30-40 severely ill patients in
Pennsylvania and New Jersey since 1987 by injecting them with drugs.
Cullen later pleaded guilty to killing 29 people and attempting to
kill six others; he was sentenced to 18 life prison terms.
(SFC, 12/17/03, p.A3)(WSJ, 4/30/04, p.A1)(SFC,
5/20/04, p.A3)(AP, 12/15/08)
2003 Dec 29, Paul Goldman, a
native of Uzbekistan, stabbed and killed Faina Zonis in the
Philadelphia suburb of Bensalem. Goldman soon fled the country.
Police found his parents dead by suicide on Jan 13. Goldman was
captured in France on Jan 20, 2004. Zonis committed suicide Apr 11,
(SFC, 1/17/04, p.A4)(SFC, 1/21/04, p.A3)(AP,
2003 Pittsburgh joined 14 other
Pennsylvania cities classified as economically distressed.
(WSJ, 5/27/04, p.A1)
2004 Jan 19, The Pennsylvania
Turnpike Commission voted to raise tolls an average of 42% for all
(USAT, 1/20/04, p.12A)
2004 Mar 21, Veterans Stadium
(b.1971) in Philadelphia was demolished in 62 seconds following
(WSJ, 3/25/04, p.D1)
2004 Mar 27, Edward J. Piszek
(87), founder of Mrs. Paul's Kitchens, died in Fort Washington, Pa.
(SFC, 4/1/04, p.B7)
2004 Jul 5, Gov. Ed Rendell
signed laws authorizing 61,000 slot machines in Pennsylvania, more
than any other state except Nevada. Most of the state's share will
pay for a $1 billion cut in property taxes a year.
2004 Jul 8, John Rigas (79),
founder of Adelphia Communications Corp. (1952), was convicted along
with his son Timothy of looting the cable company to line their own
(SFC, 7/9/04, p.C1)(USAT, 7/9/04, p.1B)
2004 Jul 12, A foot or more of
rain fell in parts of the Northeast. No injuries had been reported
in the stricken areas of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
2004 Jul 16, PNC Financial,
based in Pennsylvania, agreed to by Riggs National of Washington DC
for $779 million. Riggs was fined $25 million in May for violating
money laundering regulations.
(Econ, 7/24/04, p.69)
2004 Sep 1, It was reported
that for about $10 million, Philadelphia city officials planned to
turn all 135 square miles of the city into the world's largest
wireless Internet hot spot. EarthLink was given the contract and
planned to rent 4,000 city light posts for its equipment. Completion
of the network was expected in Spring 2007.
(AP, 9/1/04)(SFC, 3/2/06, p.C2)
2004 Oct 18, The Dover, Pa.,
school district voted 6-3 to mandate the teaching of “intelligent
design" in public schools along with the theory of evolution. A
number of parents soon filed suit. In 2007 Edward Humes authored
“Monkey Girl: Evolution, Education, Religion, and the Battle for
(SFC, 11/30/04, p.A1)(SFC, 12/15/04, p.A4)(WSJ,
2004 Nov 19, Police in
Abington, Pennsylvania, arrested Michael Cornelius Burke Jr. (38)
for the assault and rape of 2 girls ages 10 & 13. In Apr 2006
Burke pleaded guilty but failed to show up for sentencing. In 2009
Burke was arrested in Mexico’s in central Veracruz state.
2004 Dec 13, A Montgomery
County, Pa., judge allowed trustees of the Barnes Foundation to move
the Barnes art collection to downtown Philadelphia from Lower Meriod
(SFC, 12/15/04, p.E5)
2005 Jan 23, The Philadelphia
Eagles defeated the Atlanta Falcons 27-10 to win the NFC
championship game; the New England Patriots won the AFC championship
by beating the Pittsburgh Steelers, 41-27.
2005 Feb 25, Hall of Fame
basketball coach John Chaney was suspended for the rest of the
regular season by Philadelphia’s Temple Univ. for ordering rough
play by one of his players during a game against Saint Joseph's.
2005 Mar 26, A small plane,
carrying 2 Rhode Island families from vacation in Florida, crashed
near Penn. State Univ. All 6 people aboard were killed.
(SSFC, 3/27/05, p.A3)
2005 Jun 7, Terry Long, former
Pittsburgh Steelers lineman, died in a hospital about five hours
after he was found unresponsive in his suburban Pittsburgh home. An
Oct 19 revised death certificate indicated that he had committed
suicide by drinking antifreeze, and did not die as a direct result
of football-related head injuries.
2005 Jun 12, I fire in
Philadelphia left 5 children dead. Security bars on windows may have
hampered escape attempts.
(SFC, 6/13/05, p.A3)
2005 Jul, Pennsylvania
legislators increase their salaries 16 percent to 34 percent to at
least $81,050, more than any state except California, and crafted
the package in secret without debate or public scrutiny. They also
found a way around a constitutional provision barring them from
collecting any salary increase during the term in which it is
approved. Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell signed the bill into law. A
lawsuit was soon filed in state court challenging the legality of
paying the raises early as unvouchered expenses, though no hearing
date has been set. A ruling against the unvouchered expenses would
nullify the entire law, including their raises.
2005 Jul 18, LaToyia Figueroa,
who was five months' pregnant, was last seen in West Philadelphia.
Police recovered her remains a month later. On August 20, 2005, They
arrested Steven Poaches, her former boyfriend and the father of the
unborn child. On October 17, 2006, in a nonjury trial, Common Pleas
Judge M. Teresa Sarmina found Stephen Poaches, guilty of two counts
of first-degree murder in the deaths of 24-year-old LaToyia Figueroa
and her fetus. Poaches waived his right to appeal and, in exchange,
prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty. He was given an
automatic life sentence with no parole.
2005 Sep 24, Monica
Lozada-Rivadineira (26), an immigrant from Bolivia, disappeared in
NYC. Her daughter, Valery, was found in the evening wandering
barefoot in Queens. On Oct 6 Police found her body in a Pennsylvania
landfill and police said she was killed by her boyfriend. In 2006
Cesar Ascarruna (32) pleaded guilty to manslaughter and reckless
endangerment. He was sentenced to 32 years in prison.
(AP, 10/7/05)(SFC, 3/16/06, p.A3)
2005 Oct 7, John Rigas and his
son, founders of bankrupt Adelphia Communications, were indicted for
failure to pay some $300 million in taxes.
(SFC, 10/8/05, p.C1)
2005 Oct 31, A transit strike
in Philadelphia brought the city’s buses, subways and trolleys to a
(SFC, 11/1/05, p.A3)
2005 Nov 8, Pennsylvania voters
came down hard on school board members who backed a statement on
intelligent design being read in biology class, ousting eight
Republicans and replacing them with Democrats who want the concept
stripped from the science curriculum.
2005 Nov 13, In Lititz,
Pennsylvania, David G. Ludwig (18) killed 14-year-old Kara Beth
Borden's parents, Michael F. and Cathryn Lee Borden, after they and
their daughter argued about her curfew. David and Kara were arrested
Nov 14 in Indiana following a police chase and crash. On June 14,
2006, Ludwig agreed to a plea deal and was sentenced to two terms of
life imprisonment without chance of parole.
(AP, 11/14/05)(SFC, 11/15/05,
2005 Nov 15, Harold Wilson of
Philadelphia was acquitted, based on DNA evidence, of a triple
homicide after serving sixteen years in prison.
(Econ, 12/19/15, p.33)
2005 Nov 17, Pennsylvania
Democratic congressman John Murtha argued that it was time to bring
US troops home from Iraq.
(Econ, 11/26/05, p.35)
2005 Nov 18, In Pennsylvania an
oil painting by Jackson Pollock and a silkscreen by Andy Warhol were
stolen from the Everhart Museum by thieves who shattered a glass
door in the back of the building. The thieves had disappeared by the
time police arrived, four minutes after the alarm sounded at 2:30
2005 Dec 6, Philadelphia won
the first NHL scoreless game that was decided by a shootout, beating
2005 Dec 20, A US federal court
in Pennsylvania ruled it was unconstitutional to teach
schoolchildren the intelligent design theory of life as an
alternative to evolution, dealing a blow to religious conservatives.
Local parents had sued the Dover, Pa., school board after the board
required that ninth-grade biology students be read a statement
critical of evolution.
(AFP, 12/21/05)(SFC, 12/21/05, p.A1)
2005 Dec 23, In a NYC probe,
first reported by the Daily News in October, authorities confirmed
this week that investigators found paperwork indicating that bones
of British broadcaster Alistair Cooke had been removed and sold by
Biomedical Tissue Services, before he was cremated in 2004. Human
bone, skin and tendons were allegedly removed from the bodies of
hundreds of others without required permission from their families.
The Brooklyn case stemmed from a deal struck between Michael
Mastromarino (42), a Fort Lee, NJ, dentist who started Biomedical
Tissue Services, and Joseph Nicelli (49), an embalmer and funeral
parlor operator from Staten Island. In 2006 seven funeral directors
pleaded guilty to undisclosed charges and agreed to cooperate with
investigators. In 2008 Mastromarino pleaded guilty to hundreds of
counts of abusing corpses, forgery, theft and other allegations
stemming from the operation, which he ran with 3 Philadelphia
(AP, 12/23/05)(SFC, 2/24/06, p.A2)(SFC, 10/19/06,
p.A7)(SFC, 8/30/08, p.A2)
2006 Jan 3, In Pennsylvania the
Dover School Board rescinded its policy of presenting intelligent
design as an alternative to evolution in high school biology
(SFC, 1/4/06, p.A2)
2006 Jan 4, In a
triple-overtime game that began Jan. 3 and finished after midnight,
No. 3 Penn State beat No. 22 Florida State 26-23 in the Orange Bowl.
2006 Jan 25, It was reported
that Wyoming rancher Allen Cook (57), with no connection to the
University of Pittsburgh, has given the school 4,700 acres of land
littered with dinosaur fossils.
2006 Feb 5, In Detroit, Mich.,
the Pittsburgh Steelers won the Super Bowl over the Seattle Seahawks
2006 Feb 16, Pennsylvania Sen.
Arlen Specter asked the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate
whether a top aide improperly helped direct nearly $50 million in
Pentagon spending to clients represented by her husband. His request
followed a USA TODAY report that he secured $48.7 million in
projects for six clients of the aide's spouse's firm.
2006 Feb 23, A New Zealand
teenager hacked into the University of Pennsylvania computer system.
Owen Thor Walker (18), known by his online name "AKILL," also was
linked to a network accused of infiltrating 1.3 million computers
and skimming millions of dollars from victims' bank accounts. In
2008 Walker was ordered to pay more than $11,000 in fines but
avoided a conviction so that he can help police solve computer
2006 Apr 12, Police checking on
a home in Leola, Pennsylvania, discovered a gruesome scene: the
bodies of six people, some wrapped in sheets and blankets in the
basement, and blood, bone fragments and a hammer upstairs. Jesse Dee
Wise (21) was charged the next day for the murder of 6 relatives.
(AP, 4/13/06)(SFC, 4/14/06, p.A3)
2006 May 11, The Philadelphia
City Council unanimously approved a plan to blanket the city's 135
square miles with a high-speed wireless Internet connection, a
measure the mayor is expected to sign soon.
2006 Jun 29, East Coast rains,
which began over the weekend, have been blamed for five deaths in
Pennsylvania, four in Maryland, one in Virginia and three in New
2006 Jul 11, The American
League edged the National League 3-2 in the All-Star Game in
2006 Jul 13, Hazleton, Pa.,
passed Mayor Louis Barletta’s Illegal Immigration Relief Act in an
effort to get rid of undocumented immigrants. In August federal
lawsuits were filed against Hazleton and other local governments for
attempting to regulate immigration. A 1976 US Supreme Court decision
said regulation of immigration is exclusively a federal power. In
2007 a federal judge struck down the Hazleton anti-illegal
(SFC, 8/16/06, p.A5)(SFC, 7/27/07, p.A13)
2006 Jul 18, A heat wave in the
US left at least 7 people dead including 5 in Oklahoma and 2 in
(SFC, 7/19/06, p.A2)
2006 Aug 4, In Philadelphia
Danieal Kelly (14), a disabled girl, was found dead in her mother's
squalid house covered with bone-deep, maggot-infested bedsores. She
weighed 42 pounds. In 2008 4 social workers were among 9 people
charged in relation to her death. In 2008 Andrea Kelly, the mother,
was charged with murder and Daniel, the father, was charged with
child endangerment. Both parents retained lawyers who filed suits
against their criminal co-defendants, blaming them for the girl's
demise. In 2009 mother Andrea Kelly pleaded guilty and was sentenced
to 20-40 years in prison. In 2010 case worker Julius Murray was
sentenced to 11 years in prison on fraud and obstruction in the
case. He had skipped visits and still faced involuntary manslaughter
p.A4)(SFC, 6/12/10, p.A9)
2006 Sep 6, Philadelphia’s Art
Commission voted 6-2 to move a 2,000-pound bronze statue of Rocky
Balboa, commissioned by actor Sylvester Stallone, out of storage and
onto a street-level pedestal near the steps of the Philadelphia
Museum of Art.
(SFC, 9/7/06, p.A2)
2006 Sep 17, In Pennsylvania 5
Duquesne basketball players were shot and wounded during an apparent
act of random violence on campus. As of 2007 two alleged gunmen and
two women who allegedly helped facilitate the shooting awaited
2006 Oct 2, In Nickel Mines,
Pennsylvania, Charles Carl Roberts IV (32), a local truck driver,
lined at least 11 girls against a blackboard and shot them in the
head at a one-room Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster County. He shot
himself as police stormed the schoolhouse. Two young students were
killed, along with a female teacher's aide who was slightly older
than the students. Seven others, most shot at point-blank range,
were taken to hospitals, and two of them died early the next day.
(AP, 10/3/06)(SFC, 10/3/06, p.A1)(Econ, 10/7/06,
2006 Oct 4, A Philadelphia jury
awarded a woman $1 million and her husband $500,000 in compensatory
damages after finding that Wyeth's hormone replacement drug Prempro
was a cause of her breast cancer. In the first federal Prempro
trial, a jury last month in Little Rock, Arkansas found Wyeth was
not negligent and had adequately warned patients and doctors of the
cancer risk associated with the drug. Wyeth faced some 5,000
lawsuits involving its hormone replacement drugs.
2006 Oct 13, A jury in
Philadelphia said US retail giant Wal-Mart must pay 78 million
dollars for violating labor laws in Pennsylvania.
(SFC, 10/14/06, p.C1)
2006 Oct 20, In Pennsylvania 24
rail cars carrying ethanol derailed and 9 caught fire on a bridge
over the Beaver River in New Brighton, 25 miles northwest of
(SSFC, 10/22/06, p.A5)
2006 Nov 16, A state regulatory
board approved Gov. Ed Rendell's proposal to make deeper cuts in
mercury emissions from Pennsylvania's coal-fired power plants,
despite opposition from power plants and mining companies.
2006 Dec 20, Pennsylvania
cleared the way for 2 slot machine casino licenses in Philadelphia
(SFC, 12/21/06, p.A3)
2006 Dec 22, Rafael Robb (56),
tenured economics professor at the Univ. of Pennsylvania, bludgeoned
his wife (39) to death in Norristown. In 2007 he pleaded guilty to
(SFC, 11/27/07, p.A8)
2006 Dec 29, In Allentown, Pa.,
a fire swept through 4 downtown row houses killing 5 people. An
extension cord overload was blamed.
(SFC, 12/30/06, p.A3)
2006 An auto accident in
Pennsylvania that left 2 men dead was later attributed to a
defective replacement tire from China. In 2007 it was estimated that
some 450,000 tires imported by Foreign Tire Sales Inc. of New Jersey
from Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. were defective.
(WSJ, 6/26/07, p.A1)
2007 Feb 12, In Philadelphia,
Penn., 3 men were shot to death in a marketing company conference
room and another was critically injured by a gunman who killed
himself as police closed in. The gunman had put a gig sum in a
(AP, 2/13/07)(WSJ, 2/14/07, p.A1)
2007 Feb 15, Hundreds of
drivers became stranded on a stretch of eastern Pennsylvania that
had been hit by a monster storm. The National Guard was called in to
deliver food and other necessities to a 50-mile line of vehicles
trapped on I-78.
(WSJ, 2/16/07, p.A1)(AP, 2/16/08)
2007 Feb 16, A thick layer of
ice kept major highways closed, a day after hundreds of drivers
became stranded on a stretch of eastern Pennsylvania that had been
hit by a monster storm.
2007 Feb 17, In southwestern
Pennsylvania fire swept through a house in Waynesburg, killing six
young children and a woman and injuring one other person.
2007 Jun 19, James Cockayne
(21) of New Hope, Pa., was beaten and stabbed to death in the Virgin
Islands. 3 men, Anselmo Boston, Kamal Thomas and Jahleel Ward, were
arrested after the parents of Cockayne appeared on US news programs
and accused Virgin Islands detectives of botching an investigation
into their son's death. On Oct 10, 2008, Ward was found guilty of
first-degree murder and other charges. Anselmo Boston and Kamal
Thomas were found guilty on two counts each of third-degree assault,
among other charges.
(AP, 10/6/08)(AP, 10/10/08)
2007 Jul 8, In Pennsylvania
Gov. Ed Rendell ordered a range of government services shutdown
after last minute negotiations failed to break a budget stalemate.
The shutdown took about 24,000 workers off the job. A budget deal
was hammered out the following night.
(AP, 7/9/07)(SFC, 7/9/07, p.A3)(AP, 7/8/08)
2007 Jul 10, Railroad
Development Corp., a Pittsburgh-based railroad company under Henry
Posner III, planned to shut down Guatemala's only train service
after years of fighting thieves, squatters and government-backed
lawsuits. Posner expected to take his case to int’l. arbitration
under CAFTA with a demand for $65 million in lost revenues and
(AP, 7/10/07)(WSJ, 1/23/07, p.A14)
2007 Aug 15, Pennsylvania
Superior Court Judge Michael Thomas Joyce, an appeals court judge,
was indicted on charges of scamming $440,000 from insurers by
claiming he suffered debilitating injuries in a car crash, even
while he golfed, skated and went scuba diving.
2007 Aug 27, Police arrested
Paul Devoe III (43) in Shirley, NY, following 5 recent murders in
Texas and one in Pennsylvania. On December 19, 2007, the Texas
Travis County District Attorney announced his office's intention to
pursue the death penalty.
2007 Sep 10, It was reported
that John Kanzius of Erie, Pa., had accidentally discovered a way to
burn salt water when he tried to desalinate seawater with a
radio-frequency generator he developed to treat cancer. He
discovered that as long as the salt water was exposed to the radio
frequencies, it would burn.
2007 Sep 13, In Philadelphia
police chief Sylvester Johnson acknowledged that police alone could
not quell the city’s deadly violence and planned to introduce “Call
to Action: 10,000 Men," an effort to get volunteers on the streets
as of Oct 21.
(SFC, 9/14/07, p.A5)
2007 Sep 17, The Roman Catholic
Diocese of Pittsburgh said it has created a $1.25 million fund to
settle 32 lawsuits alleging abuse or injury by priests.
2007 Oct 4, In Philadelphia
Mustafa Ali (36), a convicted bank robber, shot and killed two
armored car guards servicing an ATM outside a bank. Several schools
were locked down amid a massive manhunt for the gunman, who was
arrested the next day.
(AP, 10/4/07)(AP, 10/6/07)
2007 Oct 12, In Norristown,
Pa., Michele Cossey (46), the mother of a 14-year-old who
authorities say had a cache of guns, knives and explosive devices in
his bedroom for a possible school attack, was charged with buying
her son 3 weapons. Authorities said the teenager felt bullied and
tried to recruit another boy for a possible attack at Plymouth
Whitemarsh High School.
2007 Oct 26, Friedman Paul
Erhardt (63), television's "Chef Tell," died in Upper Black Eddy,
2007 Oct 29, Democrats Barack
Obama and John Edwards sharply challenged Sen. Hillary Rodham
Clinton's candor, consistency and judgment in a televised debate in
2007 Oct 30, It was reported
that John Murtha, US Democratic Congressman from Johnstown, Pa., and
chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, had
steered at least $600 million in earmarks to his district over the
past 4 years. Since 1992 he has sent some $2 billion to his home
(WSJ, 10/30/07, p.A1)
2007 Nov 3, Boss, a robotic
Chevrolet Tahoe from Carnegie Mellon Univ., won the annual DARPA
sponsored race in San Bernadino County, Ca. 6 of 11 starting
vehicles finished the 10-mile race, designed to simulate a town. No
car finished the first race in 2004.
(Econ, 11/10/07, p.100)
2007 Nov 12, It was reported
that a donor had given a staggering $100 million to the Erie
Community Foundation in Pennsylvania, and all of the charities would
receive a share.
2007 Nov 12, A new study said
US researchers have developed a method of producing hydrogen gas
from biodegradable organic material, potentially providing an
abundant source of this clean-burning fuel. The method used by
engineers at Pennsylvania State University combines
electron-generating bacteria and a small electrical charge in a
microbial fuel cell to produce hydrogen gas.
2007 Nov 30, New Zealand
officials said police have questioned the suspected teenage kingpin
of an international cyber crime network accused of infiltrating 1.3
million computers and skimming millions of dollars from victims'
bank accounts. Earlier this month, Ryan Goldstein, 21, of Ambler,
Pa., was indicted in the case. Authorities allege that the New
Zealand suspect and Goldstein were involved in crashing a University
of Pennsylvania engineering school server Feb. 23, 2006. On Feb 29
Owen Thor Walker (18) was charged with two counts of accessing a
computer for dishonest purpose, damaging or interfering with a
computer system and possessing software for committing crime, and
two counts of accessing a computer system without authorization.
(AP, 11/30/07)(AP, 2/29/08)
2007 Dec 16, Street and highway
crews were at work trying to clear roads across the Great Lakes
states into New England as a storm blamed for three deaths spread a
hazardous mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain. The storm was blamed
for at least 10 deaths including 4 in Indiana, 2 in Michigan and
Wisconsin, one in Pennsylvania and one in Nova Scotia.
(AP, 12/16/07)(SFC, 12/18/07, p.A19)
2007-2008 Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., sponsored $14.7
million in defense earmarks for Kuchera Defense Systems, a campaign
donor. The Pentagon went along with it, despite the fact that two
convicted drug dealers had been deeply involved with the company.
2008 Jan 30, In Philadelphia
Nurse Lee Cruceta (35) admitted he cut body parts from 244 corpses
and helped forge paperwork so the parts, some of them diseased,
could be used in unsuspecting patients. Cruceta has also pleaded
guilty to related charges in New York and negotiated pleas to serve
concurrent sentences of 6 1/2 to 20 years.
2008 May 1, Philadelphia’s
Mayor Michael Nutter and police commissioner hoped to have 200 more
police officers on the streets by this time as part of a new 33-page
crime-fighting plan. Murders in the city had reached 392 in 2007.
Gov. Ed Rendell agreed to help foot the bill.
(Econ, 2/9/08, p.33)
2008 Mar 27, A US appeals Court
in Philadelphia overturned the death sentence of Mumia Abu Jamal,
who had been convicted of killing Officer Daniel Faulkner on Dec 9,
(SFC, 3/28/08, p.A4)
2008 Apr 7, In Ohio 9 mortgage
lenders agreed to modify adjustable-rate mortgages for borrowers
facing foreclosure. In Pennsylvania mortgage companies and consumer
advocates opened talks to help cash-strapped homeowners avoid
foreclosure. Last week Maryland’s Gov. signed a measure creating a
150-day moratorium on foreclosures.
(WSJ, 4/8/08, p.A4)
2008 Apr 22, In Pennsylvania
Hillary Clinton won the primary with about 55% of the vote to 45%
2008 May 1, Philadelphia’s
Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey announced a major
reorganization of the department's command structure and the
addition of nearly 250 officers on street patrols, part of a
crime-fighting strategy he said was already showing results. Mayor
Michael Nutter and the police commissioner had hoped to have 200
more police officers on the streets by this time as part of a new
33-page crime-fighting plan. Murders in the city had reached 392 in
2007. Gov. Ed Rendell agreed to help foot the bill.
2008 May 3, In Philadelphia
police officer Liczbinski was shot with an assault rifle after a
robbery. One suspect was fatally shot by police soon after, another
was arrested the next day and a third was captured May 7.
2008 May 5, Philadelphia police
stopped the suspects' car while investigating a triple shooting. No
weapons were found in the car or on the suspects, but officers said
they had seen them shoot three people on a drug corner moments
earlier. Video shot by WTXF-TV from a helicopter showed officers
gathered around the vehicle as they pulled three men out. About a
half-dozen officers held two men on the ground on the driver's side.
Both were kicked repeatedly, while one was punched; one also
appeared to be struck with a baton. A review of the video led to the
firing of 4 officers with disciplinary action for 4 others. In 2009
a grand jury cleared the officers involved saying no excessive force
(AP, 5/8/08)(WSJ, 5/20/08, p.A2)(SFC, 8/7/09,
2008 May 13, EarthLink said it
is pulling out of its high-speed Internet network in Philadelphia,
and that it would shut down the operation on June 12.
(SFC, 5/14/08, p.C3)
2008 Jun 12, Deaths due to the
heat wave across the US East Coast climbed past 30 with at least 15
dead in Philadelphia and 7 in NYC.
(WSJ, 6/13/08, p.A2)
2008 Jul 9, In western
Pennsylvania the bodies of 22-year-old Ashley Guarino, her
2-year-old daughter Dreux and 11-month-old son Orlando Jr. were
found by relatives. Orlando Maurice Guarino (38) was arrested the
next day and charged with the murders of his wife and children.
2008 Jul 14, In Pennsylvania
Luis Ramirez (25), an illegal Mexican migrant worker, died in
Shenandoah after being beaten by white youths. 4 young men were
charged and found responsible for the fight, but most of the federal
charges against them were dropped. Local police were later accused
of tampering with evidence and witnesses or lying to the FBI. In
2010 Derrick Donchak and Brandon Piekarsky were convicted for a
federal hate crime. In 2011 former police chief Matthew Nestor was
found guilty of falsifying his police report, a charge that carries
up to 20 years in prison. Officer William Moyer was found guilty of
lying to the FBI but was acquitted of four other counts. Officer
Jason Hayes, who's engaged to the mother of one of Ramirez's
attackers, was acquitted of both charges against him. In all, the
jury convicted on two of nine counts. On Feb 23, 2011, Donchak and
Piekarsky were sentenced to nine years each in prison for roles in
the death of Ramirez.
10/15/10, p.A6)(AP, 1/27/11)(Reuters, 2/24/11)
2008 Jul 15, In Pennsylvania
Betty Schirmer (56) was killed in an apparent car accident. In 2010
her husband, Pastor Arthur Burton Schirmer, was charged with killing
her and staging the car accident. The charge also prompted an
investigation into the suspicious death of his 1st wife, Jewel
Schirmer, in 1999.
2008 Jul 25, Randy Pausch (47),
a Carnegie Mellon University computer scientist, died at his home in
Virginia. His "last lecture" in September 2007, about facing
terminal cancer, has become an Internet sensation and a best-selling
2008 Oct 3, The Great Lakes
Governors (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio,
Pennsylvania, Wisconsin) applauded President George W. Bush for
signing a joint resolution of Congress providing consent to the
Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact.
It barred new diversions beyond the Great Lakes Basin.
2008 Oct 17, In Philadelphia
college student Jocelyn Kirsch (23) was sentenced to five years in
prison and ordered to pay more than $100,000 in restitution. She and
her former boyfriend, Edward Anderton, had stolen the identities of
friends and neighbors in 2006 and 2007 to net more than $116,000 in
goods and services. Anderton’s sentence was pending.
2008 Oct 29, The Philadelphia
Phillies won the baseball World Series over the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3
with the conclusion of Game 5, which had been stopped by rain 2 days
(SFC, 10/30/08, p.D1)
2008 Nov 6, Philadelphia’s
Mayor Nutter said a budget deficit crises will force the city to
close libraries and swimming pools, suspend planned tax reductions,
cut more than 800 jobs and trim salaries to deal with a $1 billion
(SFC, 11/7/08, p.A7)
2008 Nov 19, FBI agent Sam
Hicks was shot and killed while serving a warrant at a home near
Pittsburgh, during a roundup of drug suspects in the greater
Pittsburgh area. Christina Korbe was charged with homicide. Her
husband, Robert Korbe, was one of 35 people charged in a 27-count
(AP, 11/19/08)(SFC, 11/20/08, p.A4)
2008 Dec 26, In Philadelphia a
duplex fire apparently caused by fuel spilling from an overfilled
kerosene heater killed seven people, including 3 kids, in a basement
that had only one exit.
2008 Dec 31, SF ended the year
with 98 homicides. In Milwaukee, Wisc., the total number of
homicides dropped 32%, from 105 in 2007 to 71 in 2008, the lowest
number since 1985. Detroit had 344 slayings, a 13% drop from the 396
in 2007; Philadelphia's 332 killings were a 15% drop from the 392 in
2007; and the 234 homicides in Baltimore were 17% less than the 392
the year before. Cleveland recorded 102 homicides in 2008, down from
a 13-year high of 134 in 2007. Homicides in New York rose 5.2%, to
522 from 496 the year before. Slayings in Los Angeles were down to
376 in 2008 compared to 400 the prior year. Preliminary data in
Chicago showed 508 homicides were reported in 2008, the first time
the city had more than 500 murders since 2003 and about 15% more
than the 442 homicides reported in 2007. Washington, D.C., ended
2008 with 186 homicides, up from 181 in 2007.
(SFC, 1/2/09, p.1)(AP, 1/3/09)
2009 Jan 7, The SEC charged
Joseph S. Forte of Broomall, Pennsylvania, an investment fund
manager, with running a Ponzi scheme since at least 1995. Losses to
investors were estimated at $50 million.
2009 Jan 16, Artist Andrew
Wyeth (b.1917), American artist, died at his home in the
Philadelphia suburb of Chadds Ford. He had portrayed the hidden
melancholy of the people and landscapes of Pennsylvania's Brandywine
Valley and coastal Maine in works such as "Christina's World."
2009 Jan 22, US federal agents
raided Kuchera Industries and Kuchera Defense systems, 2 small
Pennsylvania defense contractors. They were given millions in
federal funding by Rep. John Murtha, chairman of the defense
appropriations committee. In 2007 the WSJ identified Murtha as the
largest earmarker in the House.
(WSJ, 1/22/09, p.A6)
2009 Feb 1, In Super Bowl XLIII
at Tampa, Florida, the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Arizona
(SFC, 2/2/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 26, Two Pennsylvania
judges were charged with taking millions of dollars in kickbacks to
send teenagers to two privately run youth detention centers.
Prosecutors later said Luzerne County Judges Mark Ciavarella (58)
and Michael Conahan (56) took $2.6 million in payoffs to put
juvenile offenders in lockups run by PA Child Care LLC and a sister
company, Western PA Child Care LLC. Conahan soon pleaded guilty to a
single count of racketeering. The “kids for cash" trial against
Ciavarella began in 2011. On Feb 18, 2011, Ciavarella was convicted
of racketeering. On Aug 11, 2011, Ciavarella was sentenced to 28
years in prison. On Sep 23 Conahan was sentenced to 17.5 years in
prison. On Nov 4, 2011, Robert Powell, the former owner of 2-for
profit juvenile detention centers, was sentenced to 18 months in
prison for his role in the scheme. In 2014 builder Robert Mericle
was sentenced to a year in jail and fined $250k for his role in the
kids for cash scandal. On August 10, 2015, a federal judge approved
a $4.75 million settlement between Powell and some 2,400 juveniles.
(AP, 2/11/09)(SFC, 2/7/11, p.A4)(SFC, 2/19/11,
p.A6)(SFC, 8/12/11, p.A5)(SFC, 9/24/11, p.A4)(SFC, 11/5/11,
p.A5)(SFC, 4/26/14, p.A6)(SFC, 8/13/15, p.A6)
2009 Feb 19, In Pennsylvania
Roger Leon Barlow (19) was charged with setting 9 fires in
arson-prone Coatesville, 35 miles west of Philadelphia.
(SFC, 2/20/09, p.A10)
2009 Feb 20, In Wampum,
Pennsylvania, Jordan Brown (11) shot his father's pregnant fiancee,
Kenzie Marie Houk (26), in the back of the head as she lay in bed.
He then put his youth model 20-gauge shotgun back in his room before
going out to catch his school bus. On March 29, 2010, a judge ruled
that boy will be tried as an adult.
(AP, 2/22/09)(SFC, 3/30/10, p.A10)
2009 Feb 21, The Journal
Register Co., a Yardley, Pa.-based company, filed for bankruptcy
protection. The company owned 2o daily and 159 nondaily newspapers
with some 3,500 employees.
(SSFC, 2/22/09, p.A8)
2009 Mar 2, A massive late
winter snow storm roared out of the Southeast and into the Northeast
overnight, idling hundreds of flights and making the morning rush
treacherous as motorists contended with nearly a foot of snow in
spots. Some 950 flights were canceled at the three main New York
area airports, an almost 300 canceled in Philadelphia.
(AP, 3/2/09)(SFC, 3/3/09, p.A5)
2009 Mar 12, Leonore Annenberg
(b.1918), the widow of billionaire publisher Walter Annenberg
(d.2002), died in southern California. She had continued directing
the philanthropy of the Annenberg Foundation based in Radnor, a
suburb of Philadelphia, Pa.
(SFC, 3/13/09, p.B8)
2009 Mar 14, In Coatesville,
Pennsylvania, the 20th arson fire this year was set, one day after
Roger Leon Barlow (19) was held for trial in connection with fires
set between Jan 2 and Feb 3.
(SSFC, 3/15/09, p.A10)
2009 Mar 16, Vincent Fumo (65),
former Pennsylvania state senator, was convicted of 137 counts of
corruption for schemes that defrauded the state senate of more than
(WSJ, 3/17/09, p.A6)
2009 Apr 4, In Pittsburgh, Pa.,
Richard Poplawski (23) shot and killed 3 police officers, who were
responding to a domestic violence disturbance. Poplawski received
gunshot wounds in his legs and was charged with 3 counts of murder.
The shooting began following an argument between Poplawski and his
mother over a dog urinating in their house. On June 28, 2011, a jury
sentenced Poplawski to death.
(SSFC, 4/5/09, p.A12)(SFC, 4/6/09, p.A5)(SFC,
2009 Apr 28, Veteran Republican
Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania switched parties with a suddenness
that seemed to stun the Senate, a moderate's defection that pushed
Democrats to within a vote of the 60 needed to overcome filibusters
and enact President Barack Obama's top legislative priorities.
2009 May 7, Seven
Pittsburgh-area ACORN workers were charged with falsifying voter
registration forms, with six accused of doing so to meet the group's
alleged quota system before last year's general election.
2009 May 23, It was reported
that millions of bats in at least 7 US states (Connecticut, New
York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia and West
Virginia) have died from white-nose syndrome, a fungal diseases. In
2011 the fungus Geomyces destructans was identified as the cause.
(Econ, 5/23/09, p.36)(SFC, 10/28/11, p.A18)
2009 Jun 10, In Pennsylvania a
car fleeing a robbery scene jumped a curb in Philadelphia, smashed
into a crowd and killed three young children. One robber had fled on
the motorcycle and the other in a car. Both were arrested. Latoya
Smith (22), the mother and aunt of two of the children, died the
next days from her injuries.
(AP, 6/11/09)(AP, 6/12/09)
2009 Jul 14, In Pennsylvania
former lawmaker Vincent Fumo was sentenced to less than 5 years in
prison for misappropriating millions from the state and two
(SFC, 7/15/09, p.A6)
2009 Aug 4, In Bridgeville,
Pennsylvania, George Sodini (48) sprayed bullets into a fitness
class filled with women, killing three and then himself. He kept a
Web page in which he wrote about years of rejection by women and an
earlier plan for violence at the gym.
2009 Aug 6, Ethiopia’s Federal
High Court issued the guilty verdicts against 13 men, including a
US-based professor, convicted in absentia for plotting to overthrow
the government. Berhanu Nega, Ethiopian-born professor with US
nationality and teacher of economics at Philadelphia's Bucknell
Univ., was accused of masterminding a plan to topple PM Meles
2009 Aug 14, Real estate lender
Colonial BancGroup Inc. was shut down by federal officials in the
biggest US bank failure this year. The FDIC, which was appointed
receiver of the Montgomery, Ala.-based Colonial and its about $25
billion in assets, said the failed bank's 346 branches in Alabama,
Florida, Georgia, Nevada and Texas will reopen at the normal times
starting on Aug 15 as offices of Winston-Salem, N.C.-based BB&T.
Regulators also closed four other banks: Community Bank of Arizona,
based in Phoenix; Union Bank, based in Gilbert, Ariz.; Community
Bank of Nevada, based in Las Vegas; and Dwelling House Savings and
Loan Association, located in Pittsburgh. The closures boosted to 77
the number of federally insured banks that have failed in 2009.
2009 Aug, Pennsylvania Central
Bucks East High School English teacher Natalie Munroe started a blog
for friends and family in suburban Philadelphia. Munroe blogged
about 85 times and only about 15 to 20 of the posts involved her
being a teacher. In 2011 she was suspended for the profanity-laced
blog in which she called her students "disengaged, lazy whiners,"
and daring to ask: “Why are today's students unmotivated, and what's
wrong with calling them out?"
2009 Sep 16, In Pennsylvania
Andrew Mogilyansky, a wealthy Russian-American car exporter from
suburban Philadelphia, was sentenced to 8 years in prison for
procuring girls from a Russian orphanage to have sex with them.
(SFC, 9/17/09, p.A7)
2009 Sep 21, The Philadelphia
Daily News reported that police officer Thomas Strain was put on
desk duty this month because of braids, even though the paper
reported dozens of black officers wear cornrows. The white officer,
who came to work with cornrows, was ordered by a black superior to
get a haircut because the braids violated department standards.
2009 Sep 24, In Pennsylvania US
Pres. Obama hosted a 2-day meeting of the G20 as it opened in
(SFC, 9/26/09, p.A4)
2009 Sep 25, In Pennsylvania
police arrested 83 people during protests at the meeting of the G20
Pittsburgh. A “People’s March" attracted nearly 5.000 people. The
G20 ended a 2-day meeting and reached a series of agreements aimed
at navigating the world out of recession. The alliance announced
that it will replace the G7 as the main forum for int’l. economic
cooperation. The G7 will now concentrate mainly on security issues.
10/3/09, p.88)(Econ, 10/10/09, p.51)
2009 Sep, George Zimmermann, a
Pennsylvania landowner, filed suit against Atlas Energy Inc. for
polluting his soil and water in an attempt to link a natural gas
drilling technique with environmental contamination. Atlas was
exploiting the Marcellus Shale, a vast gas reserve that underlies
about two-thirds of Pennsylvania and parts of West Virginia, Ohio
and New York State. Experts estimated that it contains enough
natural gas to meet total US demand for at least a decade. Baseline
tests on Zimmermann's water a year before drilling began were
"perfect," he said. In June, water tests found arsenic at 2,600
times acceptable levels, benzene at 44 times above limits and
naphthalene five times the federal standard.
2009 Oct 15, Colleen R. LaRose
(46), a self-described "Jihad Jane," was arrested in Philadelphia.
LaRose was later accused, in an indictment filed March 9, 2010, of
actively recruiting fighters, as well as agreeing to murder Swedish
artist Lars Vilks, marry a terrorism suspect so he could move to
Europe and martyr herself if necessary.
2009 Nov 3, In Philadelphia,
Pa., transit workers went on strike after rejecting a proposed
contract that included an 11.5% wage increase over 5 years.
(SFC, 11/4/09, p.A6)
2009 Nov 4, The New York
Yankees beat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-3 in Game 6, finally
seizing the World Series crown, the team's first since winning three
straight from 1998-2000, making it championship No. 27.
2009 Nov 9, Pennsylvania Gov.
Ed Rendell said the Philadelphia transit strike has ended and that
system would be up and running for the morning commute.
(SFC, 11/9/09, p.A8)
2009 Dec 6, In Pennsylvania
parolee Ronald Robinson (32) fatally shot a man in Penn Hills over a
$500 drug debt and then shot and killed police officer Michael
(SFC, 12/8/09, p.A12)
2009 Dec 10, Pennsylvania
police charged Alfonso Frank Frazetta (52) with theft, burglary and
trespass after he was caught loading artwork into his trailer and
SUV. He had used a backhoe to break into a museum owned by his
father, fantasy artist Frank Frazetta (b.1928) loading artwork.
(SFC, 12/11/09, p.A11)
2010 Jan 13, R&B singer
Teddy Pendergrass (b.1950) died of colon cancer in suburban
Philadelphia. He was one of the most electric and successful figures
in music until a 1982 car crash left him in a wheelchair.
2010 Jan 25, In Pennsylvania
Andrea Curry-Demus (40) was found to be mentally ill but guilty of
2nd degree murder and kidnapping for luring a pregnant teenager to
her apartment, cutting out the baby and killing the mother. The
infant, now 18 months old, was living with relatives.
(SFC, 1/26/10, p.A4)
2010 Feb 5, In Pennsylvania
about 18,000 people turned out before dawn for the 18th Wing Bowl,
an eating competition dubbed the world's biggest, and an annual
celebration of Philadelphia's raucous sports-crazed culture.
2010 Feb 8, John Murtha
(b.1932), Pennsylvania’s Democratic representative, died in
Arlington, Va., following complications from gall bladder surgery.
He had won a special House election in 1974 to become the first
Vietnam veteran to serve in Congress.
(SFC, 2/9/10, p.A6)
2010 Feb 12, In Pennsylvania
Max Ray Vision, formerly Max Ray Butler, of San Francisco was
sentenced to 13 years in prison and ordered to pay $27.5 million to
the banks and credit card companies that he victimized. In 2009
Butler (36) had identified himself in court as “Max Vision," the
name he gave himself in the 1990s when he became a superstar in the
computer security community.
2010 Mar 13, A storm battered
parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut with
gusts of up to 70 mph.
2010 Jun 25, In Richmond, Va.,
Quanis Phillips, a co-defendant with Philadelphia Eagles’ QB Michael
Vick in a 2007 federal dogfighting charge, died in a shooting. Vick
had pleaded guilty to the 2007 charges. Police said Vick has not
been ruled out as suspect or person of interest in the shooting
which occurred shortly after a birthday party for Vick had ended at
a club. An investigation was ongoing.
2010 Jun 26, Pennsylvania
police found the bodies of three men and a woman, each stabbed
multiple times, in the brick twin house in Northampton. Steven
Zernhelt (53), a married father of three, was stabbed to death as he
responded to screams next door. Police discovered the bodies after
responding to a car crash about a half-mile from the house. The
driver, Eric Ballard (36), was covered in blood and police knew it
wasn't all from the crash. Ballard was charged the next day with the
stabbing murder of his former girlfriend and 3 others.
(AP, 6/27/10)(SFC, 6/28/10, p.A4)
2010 Jul 6, The East Coast
roasted under an unrelenting sun as record-setting temperatures
soared past 100 from Virginia to Massachusetts, utility companies
cranked up power to the limit to cool the sweating masses and
railroad tracks were so hot commuter trains had to slow down. The
temperature reached 100 in Philadelphia toppling a record set in
(AP, 7/6/10)(SFC, 7/7/10, p.A5)
2010 Jul 7, In Philadelphia,
Pa., a 250-foot barge collided on the Delaware River with a stalled
amphibious sightseeing boat. 2 visitors from Hungary were killed. In
2011 tug pilot Matt Devlin agreed to plead guilty to involuntary
manslaughter following evidence that he was talking on a cell phone
during the accident.
(AP, 7/9/10)(SFC, 7/15/11, p.A7)
2010 Jul 19, Despite being
rebuffed twice by the US Supreme Court, five states (Michigan,
Wisconsin, Ohio, Minnesota and Pennsylvania) filed suit with a lower
court demanding tougher federal and municipal action to prevent
Asian carp from overrunning the Great Lakes and decimating their
2010 Sep 9, In Pennsylvania
Kraft worker Yvonne Hiller of northeast Philadelphia shot and killed
two co-workers after she was suspended from a Kraft Foods plant.
2010 Oct 10, Solomon Burke
(b.1940), the larger-than-life "King of Rock and Soul," died at
Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. The Philadelphia-born singer was
revered as one of music's greatest vocalists but never reached the
level of fame of those he influenced. He joined Atlantic in 1960 and
went on to record a string of hits in a decade with the label. He
wrote "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" in 1964 and it was later
featured in the Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi movie "The Blues
2010 Oct 23, The SF Giants won
a trip to the World Series. In Pennsylvania Juan Uribe hit a
tiebreaking homer off Ryan Madson with two outs in the eighth inning
and the Giants held off the Phillies 3-2 in Game 6 of the NL
championship series. This finished off the Phillies' bid to become
the first NL team in 66 years to win three straight pennants.
(AP, 10/24/10)(SSFC, 10/24/10, p.1)
2010 Nov 2, Iowa (Terry
Branstad), Kansas (Sam Brownback), Maine (Paul LePage), Michigan
(Rick Snyder), New Mexico (Susana Martinez), Ohio (John Kasich),
Oklahoma (Mary Fallin), Pennsylvania (Tom Corbett), Tennessee (Bill
Haslam), Wisconsin (Scott Walker), Wyoming (Matt Mead) all replaced
the Democratic governors with Republicans. Snyder (R) defeated
Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) by bragging about his managerial
(Econ, 11/6/10, p.45)
2010 Nov 13, In Erie, Pa., an
apparent suicide-murder by a father (29) left the mother and 2
(SSFC, 11/14/10, p.A14)
2011 Jan 18, Philadelphia Gas
Works employee, Mark Keeley (19), was killed in a gas main
explosion. 6 people were sent to the hospital with 3 in critical
(SFC, 1/20/11, p.A6)
2011 Jan 19, In New Castle,
Pa., Ljuba Novosel shot and killed her son (12) and elderly mother
(81) before turning the gun on herself.
(http://tinyurl.com/4h8hja5)(SFC, 1/24/11, p.A4)
2011 Feb 6, In Dallas, Texas,
Wisconsin’s Green Bay packers won Super Bowl XLV 31-25 win over the
2011 Feb 8, Claudia Aderotimi
(20), a London woman, died at a Philadelphia hospital at 1:32 a.m.,
some 12 hours after a botched buttocks enhancement at a Hampton Inn
near the Philadelphia Int’l Airport. Authorities sought to question
Padge Victoria Windslowe, a self-described Goth hip hop singer known
as "Black Madam" from Ardmore, Pa., in the death. On June 11, 2015,
Windslowe was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison.
(Reuters, 2/12/11)(SFC, 6/12/15, p.A7)
2011 Feb 10, The Hershey Trust
Co. fired board member Robert Reese, a former top Hershey Co.
executive. Reese had filed documents in Pennsylvania saying the
Hershey Trust has allowed excessive compensation for board members,
violations of federal banking regulations and free limousine rides
and rounds of golf.
2011 Feb 10, In Allentown,
Pennsylvania, a natural gas explosion rocked a downtown neighborhood
overnight, leveling two houses and spawning fires that burned for
hours through an entire row of neighboring homes. One person was
killed, and at least five others were unaccounted for.
2011 Feb 24, A US federal jury
convicted Mohammad Reza Vaghari (43), of Broomall Pa., of sending
the products to Iran by way of the United Arab Emirates.
2011 Feb, In Pennsylvania
Kermit Gosnell, his wife and eight workers were charged in the
operation of a clinic in West Philadelphia where illegal late term
abortions were performed and where babies born alive and viable were
killed. In 2014 the last of two workers in the case were sentenced
to 5 to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty and testifying
(SFC, 6/27/14, p.A6)
2011 Mar 8, The Archdiocese of
Philadelphia said it has suspended 21 priests from active ministry
in connection with a grand jury’s Feb 10 accusations that they
sexually abused or otherwise acted inappropriately with minors.
(SFC, 3/9/11, p.A5)
2011 Mar 8, In central
Pennsylvania a farmhouse fire killed 7 of 8 children of Theodore and
Janelle Clouse. A propane heater was suspected as the cause.
(SFC, 3/10/11, p.A8)
2011 Mar 22, In central
Pennsylvania 5 people were killed in an apartment fire in Altoona.
(SFC, 3/23/11, p.A4)
2011 Apr 27, The city of
Altoona, Pa., enacted a 60-day name change to "POM Wonderful
Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold," after the latest film by
sarcastic documentarian Morgan Spurlock, in order to make some money
and to help Spurlock make a point about the proliferation of
advertising in American life.
2011 May 5, A federal judge in
Pennsylvania sentenced conman Donald Young (39) to nearly two
decades in prison for a $23 million pyramid scheme.
(SFC, 5/6/11, p.A8)
2011 May 23, Reputed
Philadelphia mob boss Joseph Ligambi and 12 others were indicted
with charges of racketeering and gambling.
(SFC, 5/24/11, p.A4)
2011 May, Joseph Cohen, Dan
Getelman and Jim Grandpre quit the Univ. of Pennsylvania to launch
Coursekit, soon rebranded as Lore, a social learning network for the
(Economist, 8/25/12, p.52)
2011 Jun 1, Pennsylvania and
the city of Philadelphia embarked on a 25-year, $2 billion effort to
reduce storm water pollution through eco-friendly measures.
(SFC, 6/2/11, p.A6)
2011 Jun 2, In Maryland Sukanya
Roy (14) of South Abington Township, Pa., won the 84th Scripps
national Spelling Bee.
(SFC, 6/3/11, p.A7)
Jun 6, Former Pennsylvania congressman Rick
Santorum, a social conservative, announced that he is a candidate
for the Republican nomination for president.
2011 Jun 18, In Warrington,
Pa., Christopher Moyer killed his wife, Irina (39), and their son
(7) and then committed suicide on a set of train tracks. Financial
problems were suspected.
(SSFC, 6/19/11, p.A8)
2011 Jul 4, In Pennsylvania
Mark Richard Geisenheyner (51) was killed by a SWAT team in Trainer
for shooting 5 people, 2 of them fatally, a day earlier in a
suburban Philadelphia home over an insurance fraud scheme.
(SFC, 7/5/11, p.A6)
2011 Jul 12, A federal
indictment unsealed in St. Louis said The Wheels of Soul motorcycle
club, with a "Mother Chapter" in Philadelphia, was responsible for
killings, robberies, drug distribution and other crimes. The
indictment accused 18 men in seven states of racketeering, with some
of the men also accused of crimes that include murder, attempted
murder, robbery and kidnapping.
2011 Aug 8, The US Justice
department and 4 the attorney generals of California, Illinois,
Florida, and Indiana accused Pittsburgh-based Education Management
Corp. of paying recruiters to enroll students in an $11 billion
(SFC, 8/8/11, p.A5)
2011 Aug 10, Scientists at the
University of Pennsylvania reported the first clear success with a
new approach for treating leukemia, turning the patients' own blood
cells into assassins that hunt and destroy their cancer cells.
2011 Aug 15, In Philadelphia
Corey White (22) was shot to death hours after a judge held two
people for trial for conspiring to kill him in a murder-for-hire
plot on Facebook.
(SFC, 8/17/11, p.A6)
2011 Aug 28, In Pennsylvania
Leonard John Egland (37) of Fort Lee, Va., an Army officer suspected
of killing four people in Pennsylvania and Virginia, was found dead
in Bucks County. He had fired a semiautomatic rifle at SWAT team
members who discovered his truck and found him before dawn in a
trash bin. Officers earlier in the day had found the bodies of
Egland's ex-wife, her boyfriend and his child. His former
mother-in-law, Barbara Reuhl (66) of Buckingham, was believed to
have been killed the previous night.
2011 Sep 8, Tropical Storm Lee
dumped heavy rain in the Northeast. The Susquehanna River and its
tributaries in New York and Pennsylvania swamped thousands of homes.
At least 15 deaths were blamed on the storm and its aftermath: 7 in
Pennsylvania, 3 in Virginia, one in Maryland and 4 others when it
came ashore on the Gulf Coast a week earlier.
(SFC, 9/10/11, p.A6)
2011 Oct 12, The City Council
in Harrisburg, Pa., filed for bankruptcy, despite opposition by the
Mayor Linda Thompson and state Gov. Tom Corbett. Harrisburg faced
$300 million in debt connected to a city-owned rubbish incinerator.
(SFC, 10/13/11, p.A8)(Econ, 12/3/11, p.89)
2011 Oct 15, In Philadelphia
apartment landlord Turgut Gozleveli found 4 mentally disabled adults
held inside a basement boiler room. Police arrested 3 people for
kidnapping, false imprisonment and other charges. Linda Ann Weston
(51), Eddie Wright (50) and Gregory Thomas (47) were implicated in a
broad scheme to steal disability checks from vulnerable people.
(SFC, 10/18/11, p.A5)
2011 Oct 20, Pennsylvania Gov.
Tom Corbett signed a state law giving him unprecedented power to
force Harrisburg to pay off its staggering debt on a $300 million
(SFC, 10/21/11, p.A7)
2011 Nov 5, Penn State
assistant coach Jerry Sandusky (67) was arrested for 40 sex crimes
against boys dating from 1994 to 2005. All of the boys were under
the care of the Second Mile Foundation, a charity that Sandusky
founded in 1977.
(SFC, 11/9/11, p.A12)(http://tinyurl.com/864sytk)
2011 Nov 7, Joe Frazier (67),
the boxer who first beat Muhammad Ali in March 1971, died in
Philadelphia after a brief battle with liver cancer.
(AP, 11/7/11)(Econ, 11/19/11, p.106)
2011 Nov 10, Thousands of
enraged Penn State students tore through the streets of State
College, Pa., overnight to protest the firing of Joe Paterno after
the longtime head football coach was removed from his position
effective immediately. The turmoil followed the arrest of former
assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, charged with abusing at least eight
boys over 15 years. Paterno and Univ. Pres. Graham Spanier, who was
also fired, have come under intense pressure because they were also
told of at least one incident, but did not alert police.
2011 Nov 16, Oscar Ramiro
Ortega-Hernandez (21), a man with an apparent obsession with
President Barack Obama, was arrested in Pennsylvania after the
Secret Service discovered two bullets struck the White House while
the president was away.
2011 Dec 7, In Pennsylvania
prosecutors abandoned their 30-year push for the execution of Mumia
Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther convicted in 1982 of killing
police Officer Daniel Faulkner. Abu-Jamal (58) will spend the rest
of his life in prison.
(SFC, 12/8/11, p.A11)
2011 Dec 19, In, Webster,
Pennsylvania, police shot and killed Eli Franklin Myers (58) during
a standoff hours after he killed East Washington officer John David
Dryer during a traffic stop.
(SFC, 12/20/11, p.A8)
2011 Skee-ball Inc. (SBI), the
Pennsylvania maker of the skee-ball machine, sued the Brooklyn-based
Brewskee-ball League for infringing on its century-old trademark.
(Econ, 7/19/14, p.29)
2011 In Pennsylvania Gene
Carter (39) was sentenced up to 216 years in prison for running a
major heroin ring while serving time in a halfway house. In 2015 an
appeals court overturned the sentence calling it unreasonable and
(SFC, 9/5/15, p.A7)
2012 Jan 22, Joe Paterno (85),
the longtime Penn State coach, died. He won more games than anyone
in major college football but was fired amid a child sex abuse
scandal that scarred his reputation for winning with integrity.
2012 Feb 6, In Pennsylvania
Democrat state Rep. Bill DeWeese (61) was convicted of conspiracy,
conflict of interest and theft in a investigation into the use of
taxpayer resources for political purposes. 11 other Democrats and 9
Republicans have already been convicted or pleaded guilty in the
(SFC, 2/7/12, p.A9)
2012 Feb 14, Hackers claimed to
have broken into Combined Systems Inc.'s website and stolen personal
information belonging to clients and employees of the Jamestown,
Pennsylvania-based firm, whose tear gas has been used against
Egyptian demonstrators. They accused the company of being run by war
profiteers who sell "mad chemical weapons to militaries and cop
shops around the world."
2012 Mar 8, In Pennsylvania
John Shick (30) opened fire at a psychiatric clinic at the Univ. of
Pittsburgh killing Michael Schaab (25) and wounding 6 others before
(SFC, 3/9/12, p.A6)(SFC, 3/10/12, p.A5)
2012 Mar 29, In Pennsylvania
the bodies of Charles (81) and Adrienne Snelling (81) were found in
their home in Trexlertown. Charles killed his wife and himself. He
had written in the NY Times last December about his love for his
(SFC, 3/31/12, p.A5)
2012 Mar 30, The US government
agreed with Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Pennsylvania
to cut red tape and speed up consideration for wind farms in the
(SFC, 3/31/12, p.A5)
2012 Apr 9, In Pennsylvania 2
firefighters were killed while battling a massive blaze in an
abandoned warehouse in Philadelphia.
(SFC, 4/10/12, p.A7)
2012 Apr 10, Rick Santorum
suspended his campaign during a press conference in Pennsylvania,
his home state.
(SFC, 4/11/12, p.A1)
2012 Jun 19, In Pennsylvania
Patricia Smith (58), the former controller of the Baierl Automotives
auto dealership, was sentenced to 78 months in prison and pay
restitution of $10,349,569.14 for embezzling from her former boss in
a stunning case of a trusted employee looting the business then
squandering the cash on luxuries.
2012 Jun 22, In Pennsylvania
Jerry Sandusky (68), former defensive coach at Penn State, was
convicted of sexually assaulting 10 boys over 15 years.
(SFC, 6/23/12, p.A4)
2012 Jul 18, The city of
Scranton, Pa., restored the salaries of its 400 civil servants.
Earlier this month Mayor Chris Doherty had slashed all municipal
employees’ salaries to the federal minimum wage because the city did
not have funds to pay their wages.
(Econ, 7/21/12, p.26)
2012 Jul 23, The US NCAA
imposed penalties on Penn State and its football program related to
the cover-up of pedophile charges against former defensive coach
Jerry Sandusky. The penalties included $60 million and the
abdicating of all wins since 1998.
(SFC, 7/25/12, p.A10)
2012 Jul 27, In Pennsylvania
Kevin Cleeves (35) confronted his estranged wife about custody
arrangements for their daughter and shot the woman to death and
killed her boyfriend and his mother in Quincy Township. He then fled
with his daughter (4) before the two were found the next day
about 250 miles away in Ohio.
2012 Aug 18, Philadelphia
police Officer Moses Walker (40) was shot to death, while out of
uniform, by a suspected street robber near his station.
(SSFC, 8/19/12, p.A12)
2012 Sep 23, It was reported
that Germany has launched a war crimes investigation against Johann
Breyer, (b.1925) a Philadelphia man it accuses of serving as an SS
guard at the Auschwitz death camp.
2012 Oct 2, Pennsylvania's
divisive voter identification requirement became the latest of its
kind to get pushback from the courts ahead of Election Day,
delivering a hard-fought victory to Democrats who said it was a ploy
to defeat President Barack Obama and other opponents who said it
would prevent the elderly and minorities from voting.
2012 Oct 11, A batch of newly
designed $100 bills, that aren't going into circulation until next
year, was stolen from a plane that arrived at Philadelphia
International Airport around 10:25 a.m. from Dallas. The Benjamins
are easy to spot. The new bills have sophisticated elements to
thwart counterfeiters, like a disappearing Liberty Bell in an orange
inkwell and a bright blue security ribbon.
2012 Oct 14, Arlen Specter
(b.1930), Pennsylvania's longest-serving US senator and prominent
Republican moderate in Congress, died at his home in Philadelphia.
(AP, 10/15/12)(SFC, 10/15/12, p.A4)
2012 Nov 7, A wintry storm
dropped snow and rain on the Northeast, bringing dangerous winds and
knocking out power in a region where hundreds of thousands were
still in the dark after Superstorm Sandy. A mix of rain and snow
fell on parts of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and
Massachusetts, causing airport delays.
2012 Dec 21, In Pennsylvania
Jeffrey Lee Michael of Geeseytown (44) fatally shot a woman
decorating for a children's Christmas party at a tiny church hall
and killed two men elsewhere in a rural township before he was shot
dead in a gunfight with state troopers.
(AP, 12/22/12)(AP, 12/22/12)
2013 Jan 26, Pennsylvania
police said Stephen Baker (62), a Franciscan brother, was found dead
of a self-inflicted knife wound at the St. Bernardine monastery.
Baker was named in recent settlements involving 11 men who alleged
that he sexually abused them 3 decades ago in Ohio. More people soon
came forward with abuse claims in Pennsylvania, where Baker had
taught and coached.
(SSFC, 1/27/13, p.A6)(SFC, 2/25/13, p.A4)
2013 Jan 31, In Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, a federal indictment charged 9 judges with fixing
traffic tickets for friends, relatives, business associates and
(SFC, 2/1/13, p.A7)
2013 Feb 21, Suspended
Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin along with her
aide and sister, Janine Orie, were convicted on campaign corruption
charges. They could join a third sister — former state Sen. Jane
Orie — in state prison.
2013 Feb 25, In Pennsylvania an
inmate assaulted and killed a guard with a homemade weapon at the
Canaan federal penitentiary.
(SFC, 2/27/13, p.A4)
2013 Mar 16, In Pennsylvania a
tour bus carrying a women’s lacrosse team from Seton Hill Univ.
crashed killing a pregnant coach and the driver.
(SSFC, 3/17/13, p.A9)
2013 Apr 20, In Pennsylvania
Dr. Autumn Klein (41) died after falling ill at home. A coroner
later found cyanide in her system. On July 25 her husband, Univ. of
Penn. researcher Dr. Robert Ferrante, was arrested on charges that
he had poisoned her. On Nov 7, 2014, Ferrante (66) was convicted of
1st degree murder. On Feb 4, 2015, Ferrante was sentenced to
mandatory life in prison.
(SFC, 7/26/13, p.A7)(SFC, 11/8/14, p.A5)(SFC,
2013 May 6, The SEC issued a
long report on the financial misdeeds of Harrisburg, Pa. The state
capital has been bankrupt since 2011.
(Econ, 5/11/13, p.80)
2013 May 12, In Pennsylvania a
late night house fire in Pottsville killed 4 children, their father
and an aunt as the mother did laundry at a friend’s house across the
(SFC, 5/14/13, p.A5)
2013 May 13, Pennsylvania Dr.
Kermit Gosnell (72) was convicted of first-degree murder in the
deaths of 3 babies and involuntary manslaughter in the overdose
death of an abortion patient. The next day Gosnell gave up his right
to appeal in exchange for a life sentence.
(SFC, 5/14/13, p.A4)(SFC, 5/15/13, p.A6)
2013 May 18, In Pennsylvania
Richard DeCoatsworth (27), a former Philadelphia police officer, was
arraigned on charges including rape, involuntary deviate sexual
intercourse, trafficking of persons, false imprisonment and
aggravated assault. His bail was set at $60 million. He had hailed
as a hero after he was shot in the face during a traffic stop in
September 2007 but still managed to chase after his attacker, who
was later sentenced to 36 to 72 years in prison.
2013 May 22, In Pennsylvania
Herbert (44) and Catherine Schaible (43), advocates of faith
healing, were arrested following the death of their 9th child, 8
months old, in April. Herbert said “Medicine is against our
religious beliefs." They had received a 10 year probation in Feb,
2011, following the death of their son, Kent.
(SFC, 5/25/13, p.A7)
2013 Jun 5, In Pennsylvania a
four-story building being demolished collapsed on the edge of
downtown Philadelphia. 6 people were killed and at least 14 others
injured. On June 7 police said Sean Benschop (42), a heavy equipment
operator with a lengthy rap sheet, was high on marijuana when the
building collapsed. Benschop turned himself in on June 8. On Nov 25
contractor Griffin Campbell was charged with 6 counts of
third-degree murder. In 2014 a judge upgraded charges against
Benschop to 3rd degree murder. On Oct 9, 2015, Campbell was
convicted of involuntary manslaughter. On Jan 8, 2016, Campbell was
sentenced to 15-30 years in prison. Benschop was sentenced to 7.5-15
years in prison.
(AP, 6/5/13)(SFC, 6/6/13, p.A8)(AP, 6/8/13)(SSFC,
6/9/13, p.A12)(SFC, 11/26/13, p.A8)(SFC, 2/19/14, p.A5)(SFC,
10/20/15, p.A7)(SFC, 1/9/16, p.A5)
2013 Jul 15, In Philadelphia
Michael Scripps (36), a descendent of the founder of the Detroit
News, was sentenced to 9 years in priuson for stealing $3.6 million
from his mother and disabled uncle.
(SFC, 7/16/13, p.A4)
2013 Jul 24, In Pennsylvania at
least 5 same-sex couples obtained marriage licenses in Montgomery
County. It was up to Republican Gov. Tom Corbett or other state
officials to challenge the actions. A 1996 state law defined
marriage as a civil contract in which a man and a woman take each
other as husband and wife.
(SFC, 7/25/13, p.A11)
2013 Jul 28, William Scranton
(b.1917), former US ambassador to the UN (1976-1977) and the 38th
governor of Pennsylvania (1964-1967), died in southern, California.
(SFC, 8/2/13, p.D7)
2013 Aug 5, In Pennsylvania
Rockne Newell (59) blasted shots through a wall of the state
municiple building in Ross Township and then barged into a meeting
room and continued firing. 3 people were killed before he was
tackled by a local official and shot with his own gun. Newell was
taken into police custody.
(SFC, 8/6/13, p.A6)
2013 Oct 19, In Pennsylvania an
SUV crossed a center line and ran into two motocycles. 4 people on
the motorcycles and one person in the SUV were killed in Franklin
(SFC, 10/21/13, p.A3)
2013 Nov 11, In Pennsylvania
Troy LaFerrara was stabbed to death. His body was found the next day
in an alley in Sunbury. He had responded to an online ad for
companionship in exchange for money and was stabbed to death a day
earlier. On Dec 6 Elytte Barbour (22) and wife Miranda (18) were
arrested. The couple, married for three weeks, said they had wanted
to kill someone together. On Sep 18, 2014, the Barbours were
sentenced to life in prison.
(SSFC, 12/8/13, p.A12)(SFC, 9/19/14, p.A6)
2014 Jan 2, In Pennsylvania
Monsignor William Lynn left prison after 18 months behind bars. He
was the first US church official ever charged for hiding complaints
that priests were molesting children.
(SFC, 1/3/14, p.A6)
2014 Jan 6, In Pennsylvania
Colleen LaRose (50), aka “Jihad Jane," was sentenced to ten years in
prison for plotting to kill a Swedish artist. She had pleaded guilty
and helped in the indictment of two others.
(SFC, 1/7/14, p.A6)
2014 Jan 17, A Pennsylvania
judge struck down a state requirement that voters show photo
identification at the polls.
(SFC, 1/18/14, p.A6)
2014 Jan 17, In Pennsylvania a
school shooting wounded two students at the Delaware Valley Charter
High School. Raisheem Rochwell (17) was charged the next day as an
(SSFC, 1/19/14, p.A8)
2014 Feb 6, In Pennsylvania a
winter storm left some 849,000 people without power for a 2nd day.
The 2nd winter storm this week in the mid-Atlantic had dumped more
than a foot of snow in some places.
(SFC, 2/7/14, p.A8)
2014 Feb 16, In Pennsylvania
the FBI said it was in contact with Sunbury police regarding Miranda
Barbour (19) who says she wants to plead guilty to the killing Troy
LaFerrara last November. She said she has also killed at least 22
people across the country over the last six years as part of her
involvement in a satanic cult.
(SFC, 2/17/14, p.A6)
2014 Feb 19, In Pennsylvania
Herbert and Catherine Schaible were sentenced to 3½ to seven years
in prison in the death of a 2nd child who never saw a doctor despite
being stricken with pneumonia.
(SFC, 2/20/14, p.A6)
2014 Apr 9, In Pennsylvania
Alex Hribal (16) stabbed and slashed 21 fellow students and a
security guard at the Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville.
(SFC, 4/10/14, p.A7)
2014 May 20, A US federal judge
overturned Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage.
(SFC, 5/21/14, p.A8)
2014 May 31, Lewis Katz (72), a
co-owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer, was among 7 people killed in
the crash of his small plane in Bedford, Mass.
(AP, 6/1/14)(SFC, 6/3/14, p.A6)
2014 Jun 14, Pres. Obama
intervened in a commuter rail strike in Philadelphia, granting Gov.
Tom Corbett’s request to create an emergency board to mediate a
(SSFC, 6/15/14, p.A10)
2014 Jun 15, In Pennsylvania
Jeff Hooten (47), the pilot of a hot air balloon, fell from the
basket while trying to land near Philadelphia and died after
becoming trapped under it.
(SFC, 6/17/14, p.A7)
2014 Jun 17, US authorities in
Philadelphia arrested Johann Breyer (89) after a German warrant
charged him with 158 counts of complicity in the killing of Jews
while he was a guard at Auschwitz in 1944. Breyer died on July 22,
hours before a ruling on his extradition to Germany.
(SFC, 6/19/14, p.A9)(SFC, 7/24/14, p.A8)
2014 Jul 5, In Philadelphia,
Pa., an infant and three children (4) died as a fire engulfed at
least 10 houses.
(SSFC, 7/6/14, p.A11)
2014 Jul 8, US East Coast
states experienced severe storms and high winds. 4 people were
killed in New York and one in Maryland. CNN reported nearly 500,000
homes and businesses without power, mostly in Pennsylvania and New
2014 Jul 25, In Philadelphia
two men forced a woman into the back seat of her vehicle and drove
off. They later lost control and plowed into a group of people near
a fruit stand killing 3 children. Both men fled the scene.
(SFC, 7/26/14, p.A7)
2014 Jul 30, US government
agents arrested six Philadelphia narcotics officers on charges they
robbed and in some cases kidnapped drug dealers, including dangling
one over an 18th story balcony to force him to give up a computer
password. The men were accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of
dollars in cash and items including a Rolex watch and a designer
suit. In one instance, they are accused of seizing cocaine and
reselling it on the street.
2014 Aug 27, In in Stratford,
Pa., Raymond Wychowanec (63) shot and killed his hospitalized wife
(62) and then tried to kill himself, prompting investigators to
search their New Jersey home, where their son (35) was found fatally
2014 Sep 12, In Pennsylvania a
deadly ambush at a state police barracks in Blooming Grove left Cpl.
Bryon Dickinson dead and trooper Alex Douglass critically wounded.
Police soon identifed Eric Frein (31) as the prime suspect.
(SFC, 9/15/14, p.A6)(SFC, 9/18/14, p.A7)
2014 Oct 21, In Pennsylvania 84
former students who were sexually molested by Franciscan Brother
Stephen Baker at a Catholic high school in Altoona settled their
legal claims for $8 million. Baker worked at the school as an
athletic trainer from 1992 to 2001.
(SFC, 10/22/14, p.A7)
2014 Oct 30, In Pennsylvania
Eric Frein (31) was captured after a seven-week manhunt for killing
a state trooper. US Marshals found Frein in an abandoned airplane
hangar in Tannersville with his weapons inside.
2014 Oct 31, It was reported
that a Pennsylvania coroner is auctioning off some 100 guns used in
suicides and accidental deaths due to a state law requiring local
governments to sell off unclaimed property.
(SFC, 10/31/14, p.A10)
2014 Dec 9, Philadelphia
firefighter Joyce Craig Lewis died after becoming trapped in the
basement of a burning home. She was the first female member of the
city’s fire department to die in the line of duty.
(SFC, 12/10/14, p.A8)
2014 Dec 15, In Pennsylvania
Bradley William Stone (35), an Iraqi war veteran, shot dead 5 people
at three locations outside Philadelphia and remained at large. Stone
had recently been in court fighting his ex-wife over custody of
their two children. Stone was found dead the next day in woods near
(AFP, 12/15/14)(SFC, 12/16/14, p.A9)(SFC,
2014 Dec 22, Pennsylvania's
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) said it imposed a
$999,900 fine on US oil and natural gas company Vantage Energy Inc,
one of the largest given to a driller by DEP this year, for several
environmental regulations violations.
2015 Feb 4, In Pennsylvania
Ryan Mangan (16) of Jeanette was found sitting in a chair with a
single gunshot wound to his face. Police soon arrested Maxwell
Morton (16) after the mother of a third boy called to say that her
son had received a selfie that showed the victim shot in the face.
(SFC, 2/10/15, p.A4)
2015 Jan 7, In Pennsylvania a 2
people died in an 18-vehicle crash on I-80 after a snow squall left
drivers with little visibility.
(SFC, 1/9/15, p.A6)
2015 Feb 20, Western
Pennsylvania recorded record temperatures in New Castle (-18), in
Butler (-15) and in Pittsburgh (-6).
(SFC, 2/21/15, p.A6)
2015 Mar 5, In Philadelphia,
Pa., Officer Robert Wilson III (30) was gunned down during a robbery
at a video game store where he had gone to buy a present for his
9-year-old son. The next day two brothers, Ramone Williams (24) and
Carlton Hipps (29) were charged with murder, attempted murder,
robbery and other offenses.
(AP, 3/6/15)(AP, 3/15/15)
2015 May 4, A report on
drinking water in Bradford County, Pa., revealed traces of a
compound commonly found in Marcellus Shale drilling fluids.
(SFC, 5/5/15, p.A6)
2015 Mar 24, In Pennsylvania
Hummelstown police Officer Lisa J. Mearkle (36) was charged with
criminal homicide after investigators concluded she shot an unarmed
motorist in the back as he lay facedown after a traffic stop over an
expired inspection sticker.
(AP, 3/24/15)(SFC, 3/25/15, p.A8)
2015 May 12, In Pennsylvania an
Amtrak derailment late today killed 8 people. Brandon Bostian (32)
was at the helm of the train when it derailed while traveling at 106
miles per hour, more than double the limit.
(AFP, 5/13/15)(SFC, 5/15/15, p.A7)
2015 May 21, In Pennsylvania Xi
Xiaoxing (47), the chairman of Temple University's physics
department, appeared in U.S. District Court on four counts of wire
fraud. Federal prosecutors said he had sought prestigious
appointments in China in exchange for providing data on electronics
technology invented by a US firm and offered to make the country a
leader in the field of superconductivity.
2015 Jun 3, In Pennsylvania two
semi-trucks crashed with a charter bus killing Italian tourists
Marco Fornasetti and Rino Guerra, along with NYC bus driver Alfredo
Telemaco. In 2017 truck driver Franklin Wyatt (57) was arraigned on
34 charges, including three counts of involuntary manslaughter.
2015 Jun 24, In the northeast
US a fast moving storm hit Connecticut, New Jersey and eastern
Pennsylvania overnight leaving two people dead and nearly 400,000
customers without power.
(SFC, 6/25/15, p.A6)
2015 Jul 6, In Philadelphia a
2005 deposition testimony by former TV star Bill Cosby was unsealed.
In it Cosby admitted that he had obtained quaaludes to give young
women before sex. More than two dozen women have accused Cosby of
sexual misconduct dating back more than four decades.
(SFC, 7/8/15, p.A8)
2015 Jul 9, In Pennsylvania
Gary Machinshok (29) of Wilkes-Barre was sentenced to up to 27 years
in prison for raping his wife's daughter (15) in an effort to
conceive a baby the couple could raise. Machinshok testified against
his wife, who was sentenced in April to 15 to 30 years in prison.
She pleaded guilty in January to charges including rape, assault,
endangering the welfare of a child and conspiracy.
2015 Jul 29, In Pennsylvania US
Rep. Chaka Fattah (58) was indicted with four associates in a
racketeering case stemming from the alleged misappropriation of
hundreds of thousands of dollars after a failed 2007 run for mayor
(SFC, 7/30/15, p.A6)
2015 Jul, Surgeons at the
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia completed a double-hand
transplant for Zion Harvey (8) of Maryland, who had lost his hands
and feet to a serious infection.
(SFC, 7/30/15, p.A6)
2015 Aug 1, HitchBOT, the
adorable hitch-hiking robot cobbled together from household
odds-and-ends, prematurely ended its summer travels across America,
after being destroyed by vandals and abandoned on the side of a road
in Philadelphia. The little talking automaton had hitchhiked
unscathed last summer across thousands of miles in Canada, and had
traversed parts of Europe as well without so much as a scratch.
Canadian creators Frauke Zeller and David Smith considered
(AFP, 8/3/15)(SFC, 8/3/15, p.A4)(SFC, 8/4/15,
2015 Aug 6, Pennsylvania’s
Attorney Gen’l. Kathleen Kane was charged with leaking secret grand
jury information and lying about her actions under oath.
(SFC, 8/7/15, p.A5)
2015 Aug 13, A Pennsylvania
judge, citing new DNA evidence, vacated the murder conviction of
Lewis Fogle (63), who has been in prison for 34 years in the
shooting death of a girl (15).
(SFC, 8/14/15, p.A6)
2015 Sep 26, Pope Francis
traveled to Philadelphia to promote the issue of religious freedom
on the penultimate day of his first visit to the United States.
2015 Sep 27, In Philadelphia,
Pa., Pope Francis met with victims of child sexual abuse on the
final day of his US visit and promised to hold accountable those
responsible for the scandal in the church.
2015 Oct 13, In Pennsylvania
Army veteran James Vernon (75) fended off a knife attack by Dustin
Brown (19), a mentally ill man, at the Morton Public Library in
Pittsburgh. Vernon suffered two slashed arteries and a damaged
tendon in a finger. In 2017 he was one of 18 people honored with a
Carnegie medal for heroism.
(SFC, 9/20/17 p.A6)
2015 Nov 17, Pennsylvania-based
Education Management Corp. agreed to pay $96 million to settle
claims it illegally paid recruiters based on the number of students
they enrolled. Five states had participated in four lawsuits.
(SFC, 11/18/15, p.A12)
2015 Dec 7, Lawyers hired by
the Turkish government filed a civil suit against cleric Fethullah
Gulen, a political enemy of President Tayyip Erdogan, in a US court
alleging human rights abuses. Gulen has lived in Pennsylvania since
2015 Dec 16, Total Trib Media
said it is closing the Valley Independent in Monessen and the Daily
News in McKeesport, western Pennsylvania on Dec 31, putting 87
employees out of work.
(SFC, 12/17/15, p.A12)
2016 Jan 7, In Philadelphia
policeman Jesse Hartnett (33) was shot three times in his left arm
as he sat in his patrol car late today. Edward Archer (30), claiming
allegiance to the Islamic State extremist group, opened fire
multiple times at point-blank range with a stolen police gun before
he was arrested.
2016 Jan 12, In Pennsylvania
philanthropist H.F. Lenfest, owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the
Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com, said he has turned over the
Philadelphia Media Network to the newly formed nonprofit Institute
for Journalism in New Media in an effort to develop a new business
model. He also donated $20 million to endow the enterprise.
(SFC, 1/13/16, p.C6)
2016 Feb 13, A dangerous cold
snap bringing life-threatening cold was settling in across the
northeastern United States. A snow squall triggered a pileup of
dozens of vehicles on a Pennsylvania highway that left several
2016 Mar 9, In Pennsylvania an
ambush-style shooting at a backyard barbecue in the Pittsburgh
suburb of Wilkinsburg killed 5 people and an 8-month old fetus. Two
gunmen working as a team remained on the run.
(AFP, 3/10/16)(SFC, 3/10/16, p.A7)
2016 Mar 12, In Pennsylvania
police officers in Chester engaged in a shootout that left one
suspect dead after trying to stop a vehicle.
(SFC, 3/14/16, p.A5)
2016 Mar 15, A 2nd Pennsylvania
Supreme Court justice, Michael Eakins, quit the bench over a
widening scandal over raunchy and otherwise offensive emails that he
and others exchanged with friends and lawyers.
(SFC, 3/16/16, p.A6)
2016 Mar 15, In Pennsylvania
three leaders of a Franciscan religious order were charged with
allowing a friar who was a known sexual predator to take on jobs
that enabled him to molest more than 100 children.
(SFC, 3/16/16, p.A6)
2016 Mar 20, In Pennsylvania
retired state trooper Clarence Briggs killed turnpike toll collector
Danny Crouse and security guard Ronald Heist in a holdup attempt in
Fort Littleton. Biggs was shot dead by state troopers while trying
to escape. Briggs had filed for banktuptcy in 2015 with debts of
(SFC, 3/21/16, p.A6)(SFC, 3/22/16, p.A5)
2016 Apr 3, Amtrak Train 89
struck a piece of heavy equipment on the tracks outside
Philadelphia, causing the train's lead engine to derail and killing
two Amtrak workers.
2016 Apr 17, Pennsylvania Gov.
Tom Wolf signed a bill legalizing a comprehensive medical marijuana
program, making his state the 24th to do so.
(SFC, 4/18/16, p.A7)
2016 Apr 17, In Pennsylvania a
suspect surrendered to police following a short standoff at a
Philadelphia home where 3 people were found killed by shotgun blasts
to the head.
(SFC, 4/18/16, p.A7)
2016 May 6, Federal authorities
in Pittsburgh said two men have been charged by authorities in
Belarus with receiving $1.35 million stolen in a phishing scheme
from the bank account of a Pennsylvania oil and gas drilling
company. Aleskey Yaroshevich (34) and Egor Pavlenko (41) reportedly
received a $1.35 million transfer made in September 2012. Both men
were in custody in Minsk.
2016 May 25, In Pennsylvania
the Swiss-made Solar Impulse 2 landed in Allentown 17 hours after
taking off from Dayton in the latest leg of its journey around the
(SFC, 5/26/16, p.A6)
2016 Jun 12, In San Jose, Ca.,
the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup after Game 6 of the NHL
hockey finals against the San Jose Sharks, seven years to the day
after last holding the Cup.
2016 Jun 16, Philadelphia
became the first major US city to approve a soda tax. The City
Council gave final approval to a 1.5 cent-per-ounce tax on sugary
and diet beverages with collections to begin next Jan 1.
(SFC, 6/17/16, p.A15)
2016 Jul 8, In Pennsylvania
Grace Packer (14), the adopted daughter of Sara Packer, was raped
and smothered to death in a “rape-murder fantasy" shared by the
mother and her boyfriend Jacob Sullivan. The couple dismembered the
body in October and it was found by two hunters in Luzerne County on
Oct 31. On Jan 6 Sullivan began confessing to the murder.
(SFC, 1/9/17, p.A12)
2016 Jul 24, Democratic
national leader Debbie Wasserman, D.-Fla., announced that she will
step down at the end of the convention week following leaked
internal party e-mails.
(SFC, 7/25/16, p.A4)
2016 Jul 25, In Philadelphia,
Penn., the Democratic National Convention got off to a rocky start
Monday, with a major internal row over leaked emails playing havoc
with nominee Hillary Clinton's bid to present a united front against
2016 Jul 26, In Pennsylvania
Humberto Martinez (32), a man with a lengthy criminal history, died
following a scuffle with police officers. A year later his family
sued Pittsburg and its police department for wrongful death.
(SFC, 7/27/17, p.D2)
2016 Jul 27, In Philadelphia
President Barack Obama implored Americans to help Hillary Clinton
beat Donald Trump, warning the 2016 race was not just about
politics, but the nature of US democracy.
2016 Jul 28, At the Democratic
convention in Philadelphia, Pa., Hillary Clinton became the first
woman to accept a major party’s nomination for president.
(SFC, 7/29/16, p.A1)
2016 Aug 15, Pennsylvania’s
Attorney Gen’l. Kathleen Kane was convicted on nine charges
including perjury and conspiracy for illegally leaking documents
from a grand jury proceeding. She resigned the next day.
(Econ, 8/20/16, p.25)
2016 Sep 25, American golfer
Arnold Palmer (87) died in Pittsburgh. Palmer first played the
British Open in 1960, finishing runner-up in an appearance that
invigorated a tournament which Americans had been ignoring for
years. Palmer won the British Open, golf's oldest major, in 1961 and
(AP, 9/26/16)(Econ, 10/8/16, p.82)
2016 Nov 8, In the US
presidential election Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin all swung
for Donald Trump with margins of one percent or less. Wisconsin’s
voter ID law impacted an unknown number of eligible voters as Trump
defeated Clinton by roughly 22,000 votes.
(Econ, 11/19/16, p.25)(SFC, 5/9/17, p.A4)
2016 Nov 9, From New York to
Los Angeles thousands of people in around 10 cities rallied late
today against president-elect Donald Trump. Protesters burned a
giant orange-haired head of Trump in effigy, lit fires in the
streets and blocked traffic as rage over the billionaire's election
victory spilled onto the streets of Oakland, Ca., Chicago, Boston,
Philadelphia, Portland and Washington DC.
2016 Nov 16, Journalist and
author Peter Binzen (1922) died in Pennsylvania. His books included
“Whitetown, USA" (1970).
(SFC, 11/24/16, p.D2)
2016 Nov 24, It was reported
that the former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has
raised the necessary $1.1 million to request a vote recount in
Wisconsin. Donald Trump also won by a slim margin in Pennsylvania,
where a recount filing fee costs $500,000, due on November 28. The
filing fee in Michigan, where Trump has a razor-thin lead in
unofficial results so far, is $600,000 due by November 30.
2016 Nov 24, In Pennsylvania
Demetrius Coleman (22) of Pittsburgh fled police and crashed into a
car that burst into flames killing two adults and a child.
(SFC, 11/26/16, p.A3)
2016 Dec 30, Pennsylvania state
Trooper Landon Weaver (23) was shot and killed while responding to a
domestic complaint in Huntingdon County. Jason Robison (32) was
arrested the next day at a mobile home in the area.
(SSFC, 1/1/17, p.A7)
2017 Jan 31, US federal energy
regulators approved construction of Energy Transfer Partners LP's
Rover natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to Ontario.
2017 Jan 31, In Pennsylvania
Daniel Dimitri (50) was killed in Philadelphia by a speeding police
officer. Adam Soto was soon fired and in 2019 he was ordered to
serve three to twelve months in county jail for killing Dimitri
while drag racing with another officer.
(SSFC, 1/13/19, p.A8)
2017 Feb 2, In Pennsylvania the
Punxsutawney Phil groundhog saw his shadow and predicted six more
weeks of winter.
(SFC, 2/3/17, p.A6)
2017 Feb 4, Penn State student
Timothy Piazza (19) died two days after falling several times with
toxic levels of alcohol following a Feb 2 Beta Theta Pi fraternity
pledge ceremony. Friends failed to summon immediate help. 18
fraternity members faced criminal charges. On Sep 1, 2017, a judge
threw out involuntary manslaughter charges and felony assault counts
and ordered 12 fraternity members to stand trial on lesser counts.
Piazza had been given at least 18 drinks in less than 90 minutes. In
2019 three former Penn. State fraternity members were issued minimum
jail sentences of one to three months.
(SFC, 5/6/17, p.A6)(SFC, 9/2/17, p.A9)(SFC,
11/14/17, p.A7)(SFC, 4/4/19, p.A6)
2017 Feb 26, In Philadelphia a
visitor to the Jewish Mount Carmel Cemetery discovered more than 100
headstones vandalized. This came less than a week after a Jewish
cemetery in suburban St. Louis reported more than 150 headstones
(SFC, 2/27/17, p.A4)
2017 Mar 13, Two former Penn
State administrators pleaded guilty to mishandling child-sex
allegations against Jerry Sandusky, more than five years after the
scandal rocked the university and led to the downfall of football
coach Joe Paterno.
(SFC, 3/14/17, p.A7)
2017 Mar 14, Winter Storm
Stella dumped snow and sleet across the northeastern United States,
forcing airlines to ground flights and schools to cancel classes.
Airlines canceled about 5,700 flights across the United States.
Airports in New York, Boston, Baltimore, Washington and Philadelphia
were hit the hardest.
(AP, 3/14/17)(AFP, 3/14/17)
2017 Mar 24, Former Penn State
Pres. Graham Spanier (68) was convicted of hushing up complaints in
2001 of child sex abuse by assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.
(SFC, 3/25/17, p.A5)
2017 Mar, A Pennsylvania judge
ruled that Allentown-based, long-term care insurer Penn Treaty
American Corp. was insolvent. This left health insurers across the
country on the hook for the company’s losses. Analysts estimated the
company’s long-term liabilities near $4 billion, but assets at only
about $700 million.
(SFC, 8/14/17, p.D1)
2017 Apr 14, Henry Hillman
(b.1918), Pittsburgh-based billionaire, died. He had steered his
family’s coal and coke fortune into real estate, venture capital and
private equity. In 1972 his $4 million investment provided half the
startup money for the Menlo Park, Ca., Kleiner Perkins venture
(SSFC, 4/16/17, p.C10)
2017 Apr 17, In Pennsylvania
Cuban national Yoandy Perez Llanes pleaded guilty to his role in an
international conspiracy to file 900 phony federal tax returns
seeking $2.2 million in refunds by using employee information stolen
from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Sentencing was set
for August 18.
2017 Apr 18, Ohio murder
suspect Steve Stephens (37) shot himself in the head following a
police chase in Pennsylvania.
(SFC, 4/19/17, p.A8)
2017 Apr 19, In Pennsylvania
the new Museum of the American Revolution opened in Philadelphia.
2017 Jun 6, In Pennsylvania Lee
Donald Kaplan (52) was convicted of sexually assaulting six girls in
the same family and fathering two children by one of them.
Authorities alleged that the girls’ parents had “gifted" their
oldest daughter to Kaplan because he helped the family out of
financial ruin. On July 19 a judge sentenced Daniel Stoltzfus (44)
and his wife Savilla (43) up to seven years in prison each for
gifting their oldest daughter to Kaplan.
(SFC, 6/7/17, p.A6)(SFC, 7/27/17, p.A6)
2017 Jun 15, James McCord Jr.,
former CIA agent and head of the burglers in the 1972 Watergate
scandal, died at his home in Pennsylvania.
(SSFC, 4/21/19, p.C9)
2017 Jun 17, A Pennsylvania
judge declared a mistrial as jurors deadlocked on charges that Bill
Cosby had drugged and molested a woman more than a decade ago.
Prosecutors said they would seek a 2nd trial.
(SSFC, 6/18/17, p.A8)
2017 Jun 20, GE Transportation
said it has signed a $575 million deal with Egypt's national railway
system to provide 100 locomotives. Most of the company's
international locomotives are built in Erie, Pennsylvania.
2017 Jun 29, In Pennsylvania
Seth Williams (50), the District Attorney of Philadelphia, pleaded
guilty to a corruption charge and resigned from office. He had been
charged with 29 counts of bribery, extortion and fraud.
(SFC, 6/30/17, p.A6)
2017 Jun 28, In Pennsylvania
Bianca Roberson (18), a recent high school graduate, was shot in the
head during a road rage confrontation in West Goshen Township. David
Desper (28), who fled the scene, turned himself in on July 2 and was
charged with first and third degree murder.
(SFC, 7/3/17, p.A4)
2017 Jul 7, In Pennsylvania
three young men went missing in suburban Philadelphia. A 4th had
gone missing two days earlier. Links between the men were being
(SFC, 7/11/17, p.A6)
2017 Jul 13, In Pennsylvania
drug dealer Cosmo DiNardo (20) confessed to killing four men
separately after selling them marijuana and then burning their
bodies on his family’s farm. A cousin of DiNardo was also charged
the next day, but said DiNardo had shot all the victims.
(SFC, 7/14/17, p.A6)(SFC, 7/15/17, p.A5)
2017 Jul 25, In Pennsylvania
the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the conviction of
Joseph Maurizio (71), accused of sexually abusing orphans during
missionary trips to Honduras, and denied his request for a new
trial. The suspended priest has maintained his innocence. Maurizio
was incarcerated at a low-security federal prison in Ohio with a
projected release date of April 2029.
2017 Aug 2, In Pennsylvania 32
CSX freight cars derailed in Hyndman and caused a propane fire that
burned itself out by August 4. Smaller sulfur fires continued to
(SFC, 8/5/17, p.A6)
2017 Aug 31, In Pennsylvania
Temple Univ. student Jenna Burleigh (22) was last seen on
surveillance tape leaving a bar in Philadelphia with Joshua
Hupperterz (29). Her body was found Sep 2 on property belonging to
the man’s grandmother. On Sep 3 Hupperterz was charged with murder.
(SFC, 9/5/17, p.A4)
2017 Sep 19, Oil and gas
pipeline company Energy Transfer Partners LP said it has received
approval from US energy regulators to resume drilling along its $4.2
billion Rover pipeline project. The Rover project from Pennsylvania
to Ontario is the biggest gas pipeline under construction in the
2017 Oct 4, Republican
congressman Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania announced that he will not
run for a 9th term, amid tawdry revelations of an extramarital
affair in which the antiabortion lawmaker urged his mistress Shannon
Edwards to get an abortion when he thought she was pregnant.
(SFC, 10/5/17, p.A5)
2017 Oct 23, In Pennsylvania a
law took effect that allows casino-style gambling on mobile phones
and websites. It also put video gaming terminals in big truck stops.
2017 Nov 3, Philadelphia
officials announced that they will move the statue of former Mayor
and Police Commissioner Frank Rizzo from its location in the shadow
of City Hall. Rizzo served as mayor form 1973-1980 and his critics
argue that he led a corrupt police department that alienated
(SFC, 11/4/17, p.A5)
2017 Nov 13, In Pennsylvania
Yinyan Wang (25), a Chinese citizen, was arrested on visa and
passport fraud charges. She had reportedly taken the GRE graduate
school entry exam for other people.
2017 Nov 17, In Pennsylvania
rookie police Officer Brian Shaw (25) died after being shot
following a traffic stop that led him to chase someone on foot in
New Kensington. On Nov. 21 suspect Rahmael Sal Holt (29) was
arrested in Pittsburgh following a 4-day manhunt.
(SSFC, 11/19/17, p.A8)(SFC, 11/20/17, p.A5)(SFC,
2017 Dec 15, A federal judge in
Philadelphia ordered the Trump administration not to enforce new
rules that could significantly reduce women’s access to free birth
(SFC, 12/16/17, p.A6)
2018 Jan 8, In Pennsylvania the
Pi Delta Psi national fraternity was banned from the state for ten
years and ordered to pay a fine of more than $110,000 as it was
sentenced for its role in the 2013 death of Baruch College freshman
Chun Deng (19). Four former fraternity members were also sentenced
from time served up to 24 months.
(SFC, 1/9/18, p.A10)
2018 Jan 20, A New York Times
online story reported that US Rep. Patrick Meehan of Pennsylvania
used taxpayer money to settle a complaint that stemmed from his
hostility toward a former aide who rejected his romantic overtures.
(SFC, 1/22/18, p.A4)
2018 Jan 22, The Pennsylvania
Supreme Court struck down the boundaries of the state’s 18
congressional districts, saying they violate the state constitution.
Democratic voters had argued that the districts were gerrymandered
to benefit Republicans.
(SFC, 1/23/18, p.A6)
2018 Jan 28, In Pennsylvania
four people were shot and killed at a carwash in Saltlick Township.
Suspect Tim Smith, driven by apparent jealousy, was on life support
with a possibly self-inflicted gunshot wound after the shooting.
(SFC, 1/29/18, p.A5)
2018 Feb 4, Philadelphia Eagles
fans celebrated their first NFL title since 1960 as the Eagles
defeating the favored New England Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII.
Quarterback Nick Foles led a late-game comeback to cap a season that
began as a backup and ended as Super Bowl 52 MVP.
2018 Feb 15, Pennsylvania’s
Attorney General said seven guards have been charged with sexually
abusing inmates at the Lackawanna County Prison in Scranton.
(SFC, 2/17/18, p.A4)
2018 Feb 19, Pennsylvania’s
high court issued a new congressional district map for the state’s
2018 elections. Republicans had held seats in bizzarely contorted
(SFC, 2/20/18, p.A5)
2018 Mar 7, The second winter
storm within a week crept into New York and surrounding states. New
York’s three major airlines reported a total of 1,431 canceled
flights, about 40 percent of their normally scheduled flights. The
governors of New Jersey and Pennsylvania declared states of
2018 Mar 18, In Bermuda Mark
Dombroski (19), a US student at Philadelphia's St. Joseph Univ.,
went missing early today in Hamilton. His body was found the next
day. An autopsy later concluded that Dombroski had died from an
apparent fall with no signs of foul play.
(SFC, 3/20/18, p.A2)(SFC, 3/23/18, p.A2)
2018 Mar 23, In Pennsylvania
Jonathan Foster (35) and his wife Grace (34), members of the Faith
Tabernacle Congregation, were convicted of involuntary manslaughter
in the 2016 death of their daughter (2). Prosecutors said they
declined to seek medical care for the child on religious grounds.
(SSFC, 3/25/18, p.A10)
2018 Mar 26, Pennsylvania
environmental regulators issued another notice of violation to
Energy Transfer Partners LP's Sunoco Mariner East 2 natural gas
liquids pipeline for releasing drilling fluids into a wetland.
2018 Mar 27, In Pennsylvania
Taiwanese exchange student An Tso Sun (18) was arrested for
threatening to shoot up the Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop
Prendergast High School, which he attended in Upper Darby.
2018 Apr 17, A Southwest
Airlines Co. jet landed in Philadelphia after an engine blew up in
mid air, killing a passenger in the first deadly US commercial
airline accident in nine years. The engine explosion occurred about
20 minutes after the Dallas-bound Southwest Flight 1380 with 149 on
board took off from New York's LaGuardia Airport.
(Reuters, 4/18/18)(SFC, 4/17/18, p.A7)
2018 Apr 27, Philadelphia mob
boss Joseph Merlino pleaded guilty to an illegal gambling charge as
part of a deal allowing him to avoid a retrial in in a NYC
(SFC, 4/28/18, p.A5)
2018 May 15, A violent spring
storm left at least five people dead in the northeastern United
States. The next morning more than 370,000 residents were without
power in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, down
from more than 600,000.
2018 Jun 6, A US federal judge
ruled that the Trump administration cannot cut off grants to
Philadelphia over the way the city deals with immigrants in the
(SFC, 6/7/18, p.A7)
2018 Jun 19, In Pennsylvania
police Officer Michael Rosfeld (30) shot and killed Antwon Rose Jr.
(17) in East Pittsburgh after stopping an unlicensed taxi that was
said to match a vehicle wanted in a shooting in a nearby town.
Zaijuan Hester, a passenger in the same car, later pleaded guilty
for shooting a man in the abdomen. Protests soon followed after the
unarmed black teenager was reportedly shot three times in the back.
On June 27 Officer Rosfeld was charged with criminal homicide. On
August 1 Rose's family filed a wrongful death suit against Rosfeld.
On March 22, 2019, a jury acquitted former Officer Rosfeld.
(SFC, 6/27/18, p.A5)(SFC, 6/28/18, p.A6)(SFC,
8/3/18, p.A6)(SFC, 3/20/19, p.A10)(SFC, 3/23/19, p.A5)
2018 Jul 18, Pennsylvania's
highest court upheld Philadelphia's tax on soda and other sweetened
(SFC, 7/18/18, p.A4)
2018 Jul 25, Rescuers pulled
people from inundated cars on flooded streets near Baltimore as
heavy rain soaked the US mid-Atlantic coast for a fifth day.
Authorities closed highways and roads in parts of Maryland,
Pennsylvania and Virginia because of flooding.
2018 Aug 14, Pennsylvania
officials released a grand jury report that identified more than 300
"predator priests" who molested children in six dioceses since the
(SFC, 8/15/18, p.A6)(SFC, 8/16/18, p.A4)
2018 Sep 10, Pennsylvania's
state prisons resumed normal visits 12 days after officials imposed
restrictions while they addressed a spate of illnesses linked to
(SFC, 9/11/18, p.A5)
2018 Sep 18, Philadelphia
announced an agreement to overhaul its civil forfeiture laws
limiting what law enforcement officers can seize and what proceeds
from the confiscated property can fund.
(SFC, 9/19/18, p.A4)
2018 Sep 26, Comedian Bill
Cosby (81) began serving his three to ten year sentence for sexual
assault at he SCI Phoenix state prison in Collegeville, Pa.
(SFC, 9/27/18, p.A6)
2018 Sep 29, In Pennsylvania a
car exploded in Allentown leaving three men dead. Police called it a
criminal incident. Jacob Schmoyer (26) was killed along with his son
(2) and friend David Hillman (66). Police later said Schmoyer had
sent letters indicating he used an explosive to kill himself, his
son and friend.
(SFC, 10/1/18, p.A4)(SFC, 10/5/18, p.A6)
2018 Oct 15, In Pennsylvania a
charter bus crashed into trees near Scranton killing one person and
injuring at least three others.
(SFC, 10/16/18, p.A6)
2018 Oct 17, In Pennsylvania
Rev. David Lee Poulson (65) of Oil City admitted that he sexually
abused children and pleaded guilty to corruption of minors and child
(SFC, 10/18/18, p.A9)
2018 Oct 24, The John D. and
Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced thirteen winners of its
Safety and Justice Challenge grants to cities and counties for
implementing criminal justice reforms to reduce jail populations.
Philadelphia's award of $4 million was the largest and followed a
$3.5 million grant during the first awards in 2016.
(SFC, 10/25/18, p.A8)
2018 Oct 27, In Pittsburgh,
Pa., Robert Bowers (46) killed eight men and three women inside the
Tree of Life Synagogue during worship services before a tactical
police team shot and wounded him. Bowers told officers afterward
that Jews were committing genocide and that he wanted them all to
2018 Nov 19, In Pennsylvania
two men and two women were found fatally shot in a basement of a
house being renovated in Philadelphia.
(SFC, 11/20/18, p.A5)
2019 Jan 24, In Pennsylvania
Jordan Witmen opened fire at a hotel bar in State College killing
two people and wounding a woman. He then broke into a home and
fatally shot another man before killing himself.
(SFC, 1/26/19, p.A6)
2019 Jan 21, Harris Wofford
(92), former Pennsylvania senator (1991-1995), died in Washington
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harris_Wofford)(SSFC, 1/27/19, p.C9)
2019 Feb 21, Moshe Journo (53),
an Israeli man who allegedly had been on the run for 15 years after
being accused of raping a teenage girl in Pennsylvania, was
extradited back to the United States.
2019 Mar 18, Former
Pennsylvania pediatrician Johnnie Barto was sentenced to at least 79
years in prison for the sexual assault of 31 children, most of them
(SFC, 3/19/19, p.A8)
2019 Mar 20, Philadelphia
health officials said 74 people have contracted mumps at Temple
Univ. This included 15 confirmed and 59 probable cases.
(SFC, 3/21/19, p.A6)
2019 Mar 26, An attorney said
the Pennsylvania Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie has agreed to pay $2
million to a man who was sexually abused as a child by a priest who
made him say confession after the assaults. Defrocked priest David
Poulson was sentenced this year to 2½ to 14 years in prison after
pleading guilty to the sexual assault of one boy and attempted
sexual assault of another.
2019 Apr 9, Pittsburgh Mayor
Bill Peduto signed legislation restricting military-style assault
weapons and banning most uses of armor-piercing ammunition and
high-capacity magazines, defying the state's prohibition on
municipal gun regulation.
(SFC, 4/10/19, p.A5)