Major events in the history of Philadelphia include the city's foundation, the drafting and signing of major founding documents of the United States, its status as temporary seat of the U.S. government, and the Pope's visit in 2015. Philadelphia was also a site for the railroad industry in the 19th century.Continue Reading
William Penn founded the city of Philadelphia in 1682. Penn belonged to the Quakers, and the name he gave the city is Greek for "City of Brotherly Love," reflecting the man's belief in religious freedom and tolerance. Penn also fostered the social life of the early city by providing for the design of five large squares within the city.
Philadelphia was also the site of both the drafting and signing of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. The signing took place in Independence Hall. The seat of the U.S. government transferred from Federal Hall in New York to Congress Hall in Philadelphia in 1790, and only later moved to Washington, D.C.
Pope Francis drew crowds and international media attention to Philadelphia with his official visit to the city on September 26 and 27 in 2015. Among the Pope's stops in the city were the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, Independence Mall and St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.Learn more about US History