Philadelphia is the largest city in Pennsylvania. It is colloquially referred to as "Philly", and known as "The City of Brotherly Love".
During part of the 18th century, the city was the first capital and most populous city of the United States. At that time, it eclipsed Boston and New York City in political and social importance, with Benjamin Franklin taking a large role in Philadelphia's rise. The city was the geographic center of the 18th century thinking and activity that gave birth to the American Revolution and subsequent American democracy and independence. Both the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the Constitution (1787) were signed in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia is a major commercial, educational, and cultural center for the nation.
The remains of the Liberty Bell, now a twisted metal wreck, was excavated from the radioactive ruins of the city by expendable American prisoners, and was brought to the German capital, Berlin, where it was kept behind thick leaded glass in the Soldier's Hall.
Philadelphia was the site of a turbulent protest against American involvement in World War II on January 7, 1942. On March 26, the Gustavus Vasa entered Philadelphia's port to pick up more than 50 American actors, musicians and authors who intended to travel to Germany to help bring about peace.
In the Second Mexican War, PresidentJames G. Blaine ordered the evacuation of the government to Philadelphia following the bombardment of Washington, DC. Philadelphia would remain the de facto capital of the US from 1881 on, and would serve as a military bulwark against Confederate aggression.
In the Great War, the Army of Northern Virginia once again advanced on Philadelphia, but was beaten back well short of the city. During the Second Great War the city suffered numerous bombing raids coinciding with Operation Blackbeard including one that killed US President Al Smith in 1942.
In 1944, a Confederate-made superbomb was detonated within the city's limits. Exploding on the outskirts of the city, west of the Schuylkill River, the city's government buildings were not affected.