Editor's note: High school seniors attending the Feb. 15 Scholar's Day at St. Bonaventure University and students in the professional writing classes of the Jandoli School of Communication provided some content for this feature.
PHILADELPHIA – The St. Bonaventure University men's basketball team will travel to Philadelphia to take on LaSalle University on Saturday. Below are some facts you may not know about the City of Brotherly Love.
Philadelphia is a city of firsts. For one, the first daily newspaper in America, the Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser, began publication on Sept. 21, 1784.
Here are some other firsts:
- The first medical library and the first surgical amphitheater in an American hospital were at Pennsylvania Hospital, which Benjamin Franklin and Dr. Thomas Bond founded in May 1751. The hospital itself is not America's oldest; Bellevue in New York and Charity in New Orleans both date back to 1736.
- Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, founded in 1855 by Dr Francis West Lewis, notes on its website that it is the first "dedicated to treating illnesses and injuries specific to children."
- Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, founded in 1794, is the oldest AME church in America.
- The Philadelphia Zoo is considered to be the first true zoo in America. Chartered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in March 1859, its opening was delayed by the American Civil War until July 1874.
- America's first stock exchange opened in Philadelphia in 1790.
- Philadelphia hosted the First Republican National Convention. The site was The Musical Fund Hall; the dates were June 17 to 19, 1856.
- The first general-use computer, ENIAC (the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), was developed in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School of Electrical Engineering in 1945.
Other notable facts about Philadelphia are:
- The Walnut Street Theatre is the oldest continuously running theater in the English-speaking world. It was opened in 1809 to house an equestrian circus, and in 1812, the first play staged there, "The Rivals," was attended by Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette. In 1860, the theater was purchased by Edwin Booth, brother of John Wilkes Booth, and a business partner.
- According to Mural Arts Philadelphia, the city has more than 3,600 murals.
- Philadelphia City Hall is the largest municipal building in the country and is larger than the U.S. Capitol Building.
- One of the seeds that went to the moon and back on Apollo 14 was planted ceremoniously for America’s Bicentennial in the city's Washington Square Park in May 1975. That seed grew into a sycamore tree.
- Pieces of Einstein's brain, a malignant tumor removed from President Grover Cleveland, a piece of John Wilkes Booth's thorax, a 9-foot-long human colon and a corpse that turned into soap are on view at the Mütter Museum at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia.
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