Free Library of Philadelphia
1.  What is the state arboretum of Pennsylvania?
Morris Arboretum in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia was selected by the state legislature in 1988 as the state's official arboretum.

Source: Phila. Inquirer, 11/14/90
2.  What is the state beverage of Pennsylvania?

Milk is Pennsylvania's state beverage.

Source: Facts About the States, 1993, p.433, Joseph Nathan Kane, 973 F119A

3.  What is the Pennsylvania state bird?
The ruffed grouse is the official state bird of Pennsylvania.

Source: Facts About the States, 1993, p.433, Joseph Nathan Kane, 973 F119A
4.  What is the state dog of Pennsylvania?
The Great Dane is the official state dog of Pennsylvania.

Source: Facts About the States, 1993, p.433, Joseph Nathan Kane, 973 F119A
5.  What is the state fish of Pennsylvania?
The brook trout is the official state fish of Pennsylvania.

Source: Facts About the States, 1993, p.433, Joseph Nathan Kane, 973 F119A
6.  What is the state flower of Pennsylvania?
The mountain laurel is the official state flower of Pennsylvania.

Source: Facts About the States, 1993, p.433, Joseph Nathan Kane, 973 F119A
7.  What is the state fossil of Pennsylvania?

The state fossil of Pennsylvania is trilobite.

Source: Facts About the States, 1993, p.433, Joseph Nathan Kane, 973 F119A

8.  What is the state insect of Pennsylvania?

The firefly is the state insect of Pennsylvania.

Source: Facts About the States, 1993, p.433, Joseph Nathan Kane, 973 F119A

9.  What is the Pennsylvania state song?
"Pennsylvania," written by A.J. Bonawitz (aka Ronnie Bonner) and Edward A. Khoury. It was written for the 1976 Bicentennial, but was not adopted as the state song until 1990.

Source: Phila. Inquirer, 5/22/91
10.  What is the state tree of Pennsylvania?
The hemlock is the official state tree of Pennsylvania.

Source: Facts About the States, 1993, p.433, Joseph Nathan Kane, 973 F119A
11.  How many towns are there in Pennsylvania?
The answer is one! Bloomsburg, Pa. is the only officially incorporated town in Pennsylvania.

Source: Phila. Inquirer, 3/1/91
12.  Where is the famous Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house, Fallingwater?

Fallingwater is located between the towns of Mill Run and Ohiopyle, PA, just off Route 381 in the Allegheny Mountains of southwestern Pennsylvania. The house is set on the waterfall of Bear Run.

Source: Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater: The House and It's History, 1993, p.4,9, Donald Hoffman, 728.372 W931H. See also the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy Website.

13.  What is the official state motto of Pennsylvania?
"Virtue, Liberty and Independence"

Source: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission: www.phmc.state.pa.us
14.  When was the first Groundhog Day held?
The first Groundhog Day, in which a groundhog predicts the coming of spring based on whether or not he sees his shadow, was held on Feb. 2, 1887.

Source: Phila. Inquirer, 2/2/87
15.  Did slavery ever exist in Pennsylvania?
Yes. When the Revolutionary War began, slavery existed in all 13 colonies. It was not until Feb. 29, 1780 that a measure was passed calling for the gradual abolition of slavery in Pennsylvania.

Source: Phila. Inquirer, 1/4/47
16.  Who invented the Slinky?
The Slinky was invented in Holidaysburg, Pa. by the James family.

Source: Phila. Inquirer, 3/20/90
17.  Who sponsored the first Miss Pennsylvania beauty pageant?
The Altoona Jaycees and the Altoona-Blair County Chamber of Commerce sponsored the first Miss Pennsylvania beauty pageant.

Source: Phila. Inquirer, 6/13/87
18.  What is the origin of the name Pennsylvania?
It is commonly thought that Pennsylvania was named for William Penn; however, the state was actually named by Charles II of England to honor his close friend, William Penn's father.

Source: Phila. Inquirer, 4/19/82
19.  Why is Pennsylvania called a Commonwealth?
The Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776 contains the phrase "The Commonwealth or State of Pennsylvania." The Constitutions of 1790, 1838 and 1873 begin "We, the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania."

Source: Phila. Inquirer, 1/18/47
20.  What is the state animal of Pennsylvania?

The whitetail deer is the official state animal of Pennsylvania.

Source: Facts About the States, 1993, p.433, Joseph Nathan Kane, 973 F119A

21.  Why is Pennsylvania called the Keystone State?
A keystone is the central stone in an arch. The 13 original states formed an "arch" along the Atlantic Ocean, with Pennsylvania in the middle. Hence Pennsylvania was the keystone state.

Source: Phila. Inquirer, 05/14/91
22.  How many slaves were held in Pennsylvania before the Civil War?
There were approx. 6,000 slaves in Pennsylvania in the mid-18th Century. This number fell to 3,737 by 1790. It is thought that the last slave in the state died in 1828.

Source: Phila. Inquirer, 1/04/1941
23.  What is the origin of Groundhog Day?

Groundhog Day originated in pagan times, and the celebration corresponds to the February 2 holiday of Candlemass Day. The animal was originally a badger, not a groundhog. It was brought to the U.S. by early German settlers. The most active groundhog club in Pennsylvania is in Punxsutawney.

Source: Bulletin Almanac and Yearbook, 1976, p.95, 917.481 B87 1976

24.  Where is the oldest unaltered Lutheran church in the United States?
The oldest unaltered Lutheran Church in the United States is the Augustus Lutheran Church in Trappe, Pennsylvania. It was built in 1743.

Source: Bulletin Almanac and Yearbook, 1976, p.95, 917.481 B87 1976
25.  Aside from Pennsylvania, what other states are Commonwealths?

Massachusetts, Virginia, and Kentucky are also Commonwealths.

Source: Bulletin Almanac and Yearbook, 1976, p.107, 917.481 B87 1976

26.  Who is the only United States President to come from Pennsylvania?

The only United States President to come from Pennsylvania is James Buchanan who was born in Cove Gap, PA on April 23, 1791. He was the 15th President of the United States and represented the state of Pennsylvania as a Democrat. His Presidential term was from March 4, 1857 to March 3, 1861. He died in Lancaster, PA on June 1, 1868.

Source: Presidential Fact Book, 1998, p.87, 302, Joseph Nathan Kane, 973.099 K131p

27.  What Pennsylvanian members of the Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence?

The members were: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson,and George Ross.



Source: Philadelphia Bulletin Almanac, 1976, p.269
28.  What were the capitals for the colonies of Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania?
Dover was capital of Delaware. Burlington was capital of New Jersey. Philadelphia was capital of Pennsylvania.

Source: Fischer. Fast Answers to Common Questions. N.D., p.137.
29.  What is the largest freshwater port in the world?
It is the "Ports of Philadelphia" a tri-state area along the Delaware River which includes Philadelphia and Chester in Pennsylvania, Camden and Gloucester in New Jersey, and Wilmington in Delaware.

Source: Fischer. Fast Answers to Common Questions. N.D. p.178.
30.  When was the Mason-Dixon Line surveyed, and what did it mark?
J.Dixon and C.Mason surveyed the line tween Maryland and Pennsylvania in 1763 to solve a border dispute. This line, which also ran along the northern edges of Delaware and W. Virginia, was the line between the free and slave states before the Civil War.

Source: Fischer. Fast Answers to Common Questions. N.D., p.198.
31.  In what state was the first oil well in the United States?
It was in Titusville, Pennsylvania, where in August of 1859 a drill went down approx. 70 feet and hit oil.

Source: Fischer. Fast Answers to Common Questions. N.D., p.543.
32.  Which state in the United States had the most remaining covered bridges (as of 1980)?
Of the 893 remaing covered bridges, Pennsylvania had the most with 231. Ohio was next with 157, followed by Indiana with 103 and then Vermont with 100.

Source: Donovan. World Guide to Covered Bridges. 1980, p.1.
33.  What does it mean if someone speaks of "barring the schoolmaster"?
In Pennsylvania it was an old custom for the students to keep the teacher from entering the schoolhouse around Christmas or Shrove Tuesday. To enter, the teacher had to promise the children sweets.

Source: Fischer. Fast Answers to Common Questions. N.D., p.495.
34.  What Pennsylvania Governor sent a dog to the state penitentiary in Philadelphia for killing his wife's cat?
After Pep, a neighbor's Lab killed the Governor's wife's pet cat, Governor Gillford Pinchot sentenced Pep to prison in 1924. A mug shot was taken identifying him as prisoner C2559. He died 6 years later, still in jail.

Source: Fischer. Fast Answers to Common Questions. N.D., p.475.
35.  Were there Blue Laws in Philadelphia?
Yes, in 1794 a state law made it a crime for a business to be open on Sunday. In 1933 an exception was granted for sports, in 1935 for movies, and in 1957 for plays.

Source: Philadelphia Bulletin Almanac, 1976, p.436
36.  When did Charles II of Great Britain deed to William Penn the rights to what is now Pennsylvania?

In 1681 King Charles II of Great Britain granted William Penn a 45,000-square-mile tract of land to repay a debt he owed to Penn's father. This land was known as Pennsylvania, or Penn's woods.

Source: Philadelphia Almanac and Citizen's Manual, 1995, p.174, Kenneth Finkel, 974.811 P53AA

37.  In 1886 there was a report by Pennsylvania's Secretary of Internal Affairs. It praised a Philadelphia business for creating an exemplary manufacturing community. What business was this?
It was Disston and Sons's Keystone Saw Works in Tacony. The workers had access to, not only housing, but also an opera house, movie theater, parks, sports and many other amenities. The Keystone Saw Works was in business from 1872 till 1955.

Source: Chapter. Workshop of the World. 1990, p. 8-3,4.