Today in Philadelphia History

Pennsylvania: Norristown - Pittsburgh

Historical Events

Events 1 - 100 of 145

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1682-06-18 William Penn founds Philadelphia, US

English Philosopher and Founder of Pennsylvania William Penn
English Philosopher and Founder of Pennsylvania
William Penn
  • 1682-10-27 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is founded.

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1726-07-23 Benjamin Franklin sails back to Philadelphia

United States Founding Father Benjamin Franklin
United States Founding Father
Benjamin Franklin

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1731-06-24 Freemason and Mayor of Philadelphia William Allen is appointed Provincial Grand Master of Pennsylvania, the first and youngest Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania

Mayor of Philadelphia William Allen
Mayor of Philadelphia
William Allen
  • 1731-11-08 In Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin opens 1st US library
  • 1732-02-26 1st mass celebrated in 1st American Catholic church, St Joseph's, Philadelphia
  • 1732-11-14 First professional librarian in north America, Louis Timothee, hired in Philadelphia
  • 1743-02-03 Philadelphia establishes a "pesthouse" to quarantine immigrants
  • 1748-08-26 The first Lutheran denomination in North America, the Pennsylvania Ministerium, is founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • 1752-05-11 1st US fire insurance policy issued (Philadelphia)
  • 1759-01-11 1st American life insurance company incorporated, Philadelphia
  • 1761-05-22 1st life insurance policy in North America issued in Philadelphia
  • 1765-05-03 1st US medical college opens in Philadelphia
  • 1768-02-15 1st mustard manufactured in America advertised, Philadelphia
  • 1770-06-28 Quakers open a school for blacks in Philadelphia
  • 1773-12-26 Expulsion of tea ships from Philadelphia
  • 1774-09-05 1st Continental Congress assembles at Carpenters' Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1774-10-14 1st Continental Congress makes Declaration of Colonial Rights in Philadelphia
  • 1774-10-26 First Continental Congress adjourns in Philadelphia
  • 1775-05-10 2nd Continental Congress convenes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and issues paper currency for 1st time

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1775-05-10 2nd Continental Congress in Philadelphia names George Washington, supreme commander

First US President George Washington
First US President
George Washington
  • 1775-07-26 United States Post Office (U.S.P.O.) created in Philadelphia under Benjamin Franklin
  • 1776-07-08 Col John Nixon gave 1st public reading of Decaration of Independence (Philadelphia)
  • 1777-09-25 British general William Howe conquers Philadelphia
  • 1777-09-27 British General William Howe occupies Philadelphia during American Revolution
  • 1778-06-18 British Redcoats evacuate Philadelphia
  • 1778-06-24 David Rittenhouse observes a total solar eclipse in Philadelphia
  • 1781-05-26 Bank of North America incorporates in Philadelphia
  • 1782-01-07 1st US commercial bank, Bank of North America, opens in Philadelphia
  • 1784-01-07 1st US seed business established by David Landreth, Philadelphia
  • 1785-03-01 Philadelphia Society for the Promotion of Agriculture organized
  • 1787-01-28 Philadelphia's Free Africa Society organizes
  • 1787-04-12 Philadelphia's Free African Society forms

Person-of-interestConstitution of the United States

1787-05-14 Delegates gather in Philadelphia to draw up US constitution

  • 1787-09-17 US constitution adopted by Philadelphia convention
  • 1790-03-13 John Martin, 1st American-born actor, performs in Philadelphia
  • 1790-06-09 1st book copyrighted under constitution, "Philadelphia Spelling Book"
  • 1790-12-06 The U.S. Congress moves from New York City to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • 1793-01-09 1st hot-air balloon flight in the US lifts off in Philadelphia, piloted by Jean Pierre Blanchard
  • 1793-01-23 Humane Society of Philadelphia (1st aid society) organized
  • 1793-06-10 Washington supersedes Philadelphia as US capital
  • 1794-06-10 Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia forms
  • 1794-07-17 Richard Allen organizes Philadelphia's Bethel African Meth Episcopal Church
  • 1794-07-29 African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas in Philadelphia, dedicated
  • 1800-01-02 Free African American community of Philadelphia petitions US Congress to abolish the slave trade
  • 1804-02-16 Lt Stephen Decatur raids Tripoli Harbor & burns Navy frigate "Philadelphia" after pirates seized it
  • 1805-12-26 Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts established, Philadelphia
  • 1808-04-08 The Roman Catholic Diocese of Baltimore was promoted to an archdiocese, with the founding of the dioceses of New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Bardstown (now Louisville) by Pope Pius VII.
  • 1810-02-28 1st US fire insurance joint-stock company organized, Philadelphia
  • 1816-12-02 First savings bank in US opens (Philadelphia Savings Fund Society)
  • 1817-05-15 Opening of the first private mental health hospital in the United States, the Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason (now Friends Hospital) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • 1821-11-09 1st US pharmacy college holds 1st classes, Philadelphia
  • 1828-03-24 Philadelphia & Columbia Railway (1st state owned) authorized
  • 1833-12-04 American Anti-Slavery Society formed by Arthur Tappan in Philadelphia
  • 1834-10-14 In Philadelphia, Whigs and Democrats stage a gun, stone and brick battle for control of a Moyamensing Township election, resulting in one death, several injuries, and the burning down of a block of buildings.
  • 1835-06-01 6th national black convention (Philadelphia)
  • 1839-02-24 Steam shovel patented by William Otis, Philadelphia
  • 1847-05-05 American Medical Association organized (Philadelphia)
  • 1849-05-15 Philadelphia Turngemeinde founded
  • 1851-01-01 City of Glasgow steamer inaugurates Philadelphia-Liverpool line
  • 1851-09-15 Saint Joseph's University is founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • 1854-12-15 1st street-cleaning machine in US 1st used in Philadelphia

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1856-02-18 The American Party (Know-Nothings) convenes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to nominate its first Presidential candidate, former President Millard Fillmore.

13th US President Millard Fillmore
13th US President
Millard Fillmore
  • 1856-06-17 Republican Party opens its 1st national convention in Philadelphia
  • 1858-03-09 Albert Potts of Philadelphia patents the street mailbox
  • 1859-03-21 Zoological Society of Philadelphia, 1st in US, incorporated
  • 1861-11-19 The first petroleum shipment (1,329 barrels) from the U.S. to Europe leaves Philadelphia, USA, for London, England on the Elizabeth Watts
  • 1869-12-09 Noble Order of Knights of Labor founded, Philadelphia
  • 1869-12-30 Philadelphia Knights of Labor forms
  • 1870-02-05 1st motion picture shown to a theater audience, Philadelphia
  • 1874-07-01 1st US zoo opens (Philadelphia)
  • 1876-02-02 Baseball's National League forms with teams in Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Hartford, Louisville, New York, Philadelphia, St Louis
  • 1876-04-02 Philadelphia A's & Boston Red Caps play 1st NL game, in Phila
  • 1876-05-10 Centennial Fair opens in Philadelphia
  • 1876-06-05 Bananas become popular in US, at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia
  • 1876-10-06 American Library Association organized in Philadelphia
  • 1878-12-26 1st US store to install electric lights, Philadelphia

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1886-02-13 Painter Thomas Eakins resigns from Philadelphia Academy of Art after controversial over use of male nudes in a coed art class

Painter Thomas Eakins
Thomas Eakins
  • 1888-12-25 1st indoor baseball game played at fairgrounds in Philadelphia

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1894-11-17 Serial killer H. H. Holmes is arrested in Boston after being tracked there from Philadelphia by the Pinkertons

Serial Killer H. H. Holmes
Serial Killer
H. H. Holmes
  • 1909-04-12 Philadelphia's Shibe Park (later Connie Mack Stadium) opens
  • 1910-02-23 1st radio contest held (Philadelphia)
  • 1911-02-25 Victor Herbert's opera "Natoma" premieres in Philadelphia

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1915-06-17 The League to Enforce Peace is organised at Independence Hall in Philadelphia with William Howard Taft as president; its program anticipates the League of Nations

27th US President William Howard Taft
27th US President
William Howard Taft
  • 1917-11-18 Sigma Alpha Rho, a Jewish high school fraternity, is founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • 1918-07-26 Race riot in Philadelphia (3 whites & 1 black killed)
  • 1921-11-15 KYW-AM in Philadelphia PA begins radio transmissions
  • 1922-03-20 WIP-AM in Philadelphia PA begins radio transmissions
  • 1924-09-13 19th Davis Cup: USA beats Australia in Philadelphia (5-0)
  • 1925-09-12 20th Davis Cup: USA beats France in Philadelphia (5-0)
  • 1926-05-31 Sesquicentennial Exposition opens in Philadelphia
  • 1926-09-11 21st Davis Cup: USA beats France in Philadelphia (4-1), for their 7th straight championship
  • 1927-09-10 22nd Davis Cup: France beats USA in Philadelphia (3-2)
  • 1929-10-14 Philadelphia A's set World Series record of 10 runs in an inning
  • 1933-11-12 1st Sunday football game in Philadelphia (previously illegal)
  • 1935-01-21 WFI-AM in Philadelphia Penn merges with WLIT as WFIL (now WEAZ)
  • 1936-06-11 Presbyterian Church of America founded at Philadelphia
  • 1937-02-04 Jim Margie, Philadelphia, bowls 900 in 3 (unsanctioned) games
  • 1938-08-05 33rd Davis Cup: USA beats Australia in Philadelphia (3-2)

Famous Birthdays

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1704-08-05 William Allen, Mayor of Philadelphia, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Mayor of Philadelphia William Allen
Mayor of Philadelphia
William Allen
  • 1787-06-27 Thomas Say, USA, American naturalist and father of descriptive entomology, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1808-08-01 Henry Darwin Rogers, American Geologist (theory of mountain building, first geological mapping of Pennsylvania), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1826-12-03 George McClellan, Union army major general, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1885)

Union General George McClellan
Union General
George McClellan

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1844-07-25 Thomas Eakins, American artist, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Painter Thomas Eakins
Thomas Eakins
  • 1851-08-19 Charles Hires, American Inventor and Manufacturer of the Hires Root Beer beverage, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1853-10-29 Josephine Beall Bruce, African American activist (NACW) Philadelphia Pa.
  • 1855-05-01 Cecilia Beaux, American portrait painter , born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1867-08-02 Frank Alvord Perret, American volcanologist renowned for his research at Vesuvius, Etna, Stromboli and Kilauea, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1879-08-15 Ethel Barrymore, American classic film & stage actress (Constant Wife, Corn is Green), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1890-08-27 Man Ray, American artist and photographe (Dada), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1896-06-18 Philip Barry, US, dramatist (Philadelphia Story)
  • 1898-04-09 Paul Robeson, singer (Old Man River)/actor/footballer, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1898-11-09 Leonard Carmichael, American Psychologist and secretary of the Smithsonian Institution (1953-1964), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1899-07-07 George Cukor, producer/director (Adam's Rib, Philadelphia Story)

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1901-12-16 Margaret Mead, American anthropologist (Coming of Age in Samoa), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Cultural Anthropologist Margaret Mead
Cultural Anthropologist
Margaret Mead
  • 1906-10-06 Janet Gaynor, actress (Sunrise, A Star Is Born), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1909-06-04 Paul Nordoff, composer (Frog Prince), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1910-10-26 John "Cardinal" Krol, former archbishop (Philadelphia)
  • 1911-04-02 Charles "Honi" Coles, American actor and tap dancer (Tito Suarez-Dirty Dancing), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1992)
  • 1911-12-09 Broderick Crawford, American actor (All the King's Men, Highway Patrol), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1912-04-21 Eve Arnold, photojournalist (Marilyn Monroe) (d. 2012), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1912-08-04 David Raksin, American composer renown for his work in film and TV (Laura, Modern Times), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2004)
  • 1914-06-12 Bill Kenny, singer (The Bill Kenny Show), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2012)

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1915-04-07 Billie Holiday, [Eleanora Fagan], jazz singer (Lady Sings the Blues), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Jazz Musician Billie Holiday
Jazz Musician
Billie Holiday
  • 1915-07-17 Cass Daley, actress (Red Garters), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1917-04-05 Richard Yardumian, composer (Come Creator Spirit), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1919-11-17 Hershy Kay, composer/arranger (Olympic Hymn), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1921-05-10 Nancy Walker, American actress (Rhoda, McMillan & Wife), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1921-08-30 Angelo Dundee [Angelo Mirena], boxing trainer and cornerman (Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, George Foreman), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2012)

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1921-11-19 Roy Campanella, Brooklyn Dodger catcher (NL MVP 1951/53/55), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

MLB Catcher Roy Campanella
MLB Catcher
Roy Campanella
  • 1923-04-28 William Guarnere, South American WWII Veteran portrayed in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2014)

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1923-08-30 Elias Victor Seixas, American tennis player (Wimbeldon and U.S. Open champion), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tennis Player Vic Seixas
Tennis Player
Vic Seixas
  • 1924-05-21 Robert Parris, composer (Book of Imaginery Beings), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1928-06-26 Jacob Druckman, composer (Animus I Auerole), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1929-06-03 Howard Yanks, founder (Philadelphia folk festival)

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1929-11-12 Grace Kelly, actress (Rear Window)/Princess (Monaco), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1982)

Actress Grace Kelly
Grace Kelly
  • 1930-11-17 David Werner Amram, composer (Splendor in the Grass), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1931-04-07 Donald Barthelme, American writer (Snow White, Sadness), born in Philadelphia, Pa (d. 1989)
  • 1932-04-21 Elaine May, American comedienne/writer/actress (New Leaf, Primary Colors), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1933-06-17 Anthony Bevilacqua, Roman Catholic Cardinal (Philadelphia), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 2012)
  • 1935-06-03 Ted Curson [Theodore], Jazz Trumpeter, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2012)
  • 1936-11-21 James DePreist, American conductor (Mitropolos 1964), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1941-06-22 Ed Bradley, Journalist and CBS news correspondent (60 Minutes), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1941-07-28 Riccardo Muti, Napoli Italy, conductor (Philadelphia Orch)
  • 1941-10-03 Chubby Checker [Ernest Evans], American singer-songwriter (The Twist, Limbo Rock), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1942-01-10 Jim Croce, rock vocalist (Time in a Bottle) (d. 1973), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1942-06-12 Len Barry, [Leonard Borisoff], American rocker (1-2-3-Dovells), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1942-11-22 Guion Bluford, Col USAF, NASA astronaut (STS 8, 61A, 39, 53) 1st African American in space, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1943-02-06 Fabian [Fabiano Anthony Forte], American vocalist (Turn Me Loose, Tiger), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1944-06-23 Rosetta Hightower, American singer (Don't Hang Up), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, (d. 2014)
  • 1945-09-09 Dee Dee Sharp [Dione Larue], American R&B singer (I Love You Anyway), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1948-02-19 Mark Andes, rock bassist (Spirit, Heart, Fireball), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1948-09-01 James Rebhorn, PA, actor (White Collar, Homeland), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2014)
  • 1948-12-09 Ron Vawter, Latham NY, actor (Philadelphia, Empire City, Twister)
  • 1952-02-22 James Philip Bagian, MDPE/astronaut (STS 29, STS 40), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1956-07-09 Tom Hanks, Concord California, actor (Bossom Buddies, Forrest Gump, Philadelphia)

Actor Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks
  • 1956-07-18 Audrey Landers [Hamburg], American actress/singer (Dallas, Chorus Line), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1957-01-11 Darryl Dawkins, American professional basketball player (Philadelphia 76ers, NJ Nets), born in Orlando, Florida (d. 2015)
  • 1958-10-07 Judy Landers, American actress (BJ & the Bear, Madame's Place), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1961-11-29 Kim Delaney, American actress (All My Children, NYPD Blue), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1963-02-14 John Marzano, catcher (Seattle Mariners), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1963-11-10 Michael Anthony Powell, long jumper (world record 1991, Olympic-silver-88, 92), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1967-07-19 Dale Hurley Jr, rower (Olympics-1996), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1971-09-14 Jonathan "Adam" Holland, rower (Olympics-1996), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1974-02-08 Seth Green, American actor and producer (Family Guy, Austin Powers), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1975-01-05 Bradley Cooper, American actor (Silver Linnings Playbook, American Hustle), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1982-06-10 Tara Lipinski, figure skater (1997 World Champ), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1988-01-12 Andrew Lawrence, American actor (Brotherly Love, Recess), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Famous Weddings

HeartWedding of Interest

1779-04-08 US Defector General Benedict Arnold (38) weds Peggy Shippen (18) at Shippen's townhouse in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

US Defector General Benedict Arnold
US Defector General
Benedict Arnold

HeartWedding of Interest

1930-09-04 Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall (21) weds Vivien Burey at First African Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

First Black Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall
First Black Supreme Court Justice
Thurgood Marshall

HeartWedding of Interest

1939-04-02 Author Jacqueline Susann (20) weds Irving Mansfield at Har Zion Temple in Philadelphia

  • 1998-11-28 "The Truman Show" actor Noah Emmerich (33) weds "The West Wing" actress Melissa Fitzgerald (30) in a tent outside Philadelphia's Memorial Hall

HeartWedding of Interest

2001-06-03 Writer and actress Tina Fey (31) weds "Saturday Night Live" composer Jeff Richmond (40) on a Greek Orthodox ceremony at The Merion Tribute House in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Actress & Writer Tina Fey
Actress & Writer
Tina Fey
  • 2007-02-03 Jackass prankster Bam Margera (27) weds Missy Rothstein (26) in downtown Philadelphia

Famous Deaths

Person-of-interestPerson of Interest

1780-09-06 William Allen, Mayor of Philadelphia, dies at 76

Mayor of Philadelphia William Allen
Mayor of Philadelphia
William Allen
  • 1968-07-02 Francis Brennan, US cardinal of Philadelphia, dies at 74
  • 1976-01-23 Paul Robeson, athlete/lawyer/singer, dies in Philadelphia at 77
  • 1981-12-09 Daniel Faulkner, Philadelphia police officer (b. 1955)
  • 1995-03-03 Howard Yanks, founder of the Philadelphia folk festival, dies at 65
  • 2015-08-27 Darryl Dawkins, American professional basketball player (Philadelphia 76ers, NJ Nets), dies at 58