Last Updated: 1st May, 2021
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Pennsylvania is essential to American history. It was first founded in 1681 as a land grant from King Charles II of England to William Penn, who was escaping religious persecution. Since then, many of America’s most significant historical events have taken place here. The U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were written in Pennsylvania and the Gettysburg Address was delivered here too. Pennsylvania continues to be home to those seeking religious freedom and it continues to be a place where Americans can proudly let freedom ring.
The Pennsylvania quarter say a lot about the state’s history in a simple and attractive, yet highly symbolic way. The outline of the state provides the backdrop and the engraved year 1787, which was when Pennsylvania ratified the Constitution. On the right end of the state you will find the Pennsylvania’s motto of “Virtue, Liberty, Independence.” Displayed prominently on the quarter is the Commonwealth Statue, commonly referred to as Miss Penn. Miss Penn is on top of the Pennsylvania State Capitol building in Harrisburg, the state capital. Her right arm is said to be extended in mercy and her in her left a mace, or a ceremonial staff, with a ribbon is a symbol of justice. To the left of Miss Penn on the quarter is the state’s keystone. Pennsylvania is often called The Keystone State due to the fact it has been key to the social, political, and economic development of the U.S. Keystones are the wedge-shaped stones in the top central positions in arches that hold all the other stones in their places. It is easily arguably that the United States would not have become what it is today without Pennsylvania and all the important things that happened within its borders.
The Battle of Gettysburg took place in Pennsylvania and visiting the Gettysburg National Military Park is a stop on almost all visitors’ itineraries. Gettysburg was one of the most significant battles of the U.S. Civil War, and is where Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address, one of the most significant speeches in American history. Visit both the battlefield and the town when you are in the area.
Another popular destinations in Pennsylvania is Lancaster County, where many Amish and Mennonites found refuge from religious persecution on Penn’s land. Their German descendants are known today as the Pennsylvania Dutch. The Pennsylvania Dutch live a relaxed life at a slower pace and do not embrace many of today’s modern conveniences. It is not uncommon to see a horse and buggy on the streets with people in plain clothes at the reins. With over five million tourists a year visiting Lancaster County, make it a stop on your list.
Pennsylvania is a state that draws visitors from around the world that want to discover more about American history and those who live here. Make your plans to visit today!