Thomas FitzSimons died in 1811 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His exact date of birth is unknown. He was a delegate from Pennsylvania to the Constitutional Convention. Once wealthy, he contributed to the Revolutionary War. However, by 1805 he was bankrupt.
Petroleum was discovered in Titusville, Pennsylvania, in 1859. W. A. Smith found oil as he was sinking a shaft in Pennsylvania. The rig was soon producing twenty barrels of crude oil a day. Children can learn more about oil production and refinement at: Petroleum.
Annapolis Convention was held from September 11 through September 14, 1786, in Annapolis, Maryland. The formal name of the meeting was The Meeting of Commissioners to Remedy Defects of the Federal Government. Delegates from New York, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia met to discuss economic interests. They concluded the meeting by calling for another meeting of all the states. This new group ended up being the Constitutional Convention. Older children can read some of the convention documentation at: Annapolis Convention.
Constitutional Convention unanimously approved the Constitution in 1787 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Almost all of the 42 delegates signed the document. It then had to be ratified by nine of the thirteen states. Children could find some very interesting questions about the members of the Convention at: Archive
Today is also Constitution Day, when school children across the country learn about the Constitution and its signers. A wonderful book about the signers is Dennis Brindell Fradin’s The Founders: The 39 Stories Behind the U. S. Constitution. Children could also visit http://www.constitutionday.cc/. There they could take a quiz and construct a poster.
Walking Purchase in Pennsylvania was completed in 1737. William Penn maintained friendly relationships with the Native Americans who lived in the territory granted to him by the king. However, his sons, John Penn and Thomas Penn, were not so amicable. They produced a document that stated they were entitled to land starting around Easton, Pennsylvania, that a man could walk to in a day and a half. The Lenape figured a man could cover about 40 miles in that time period. However, John and Thomas hired three men to run the distance. The “walk” started on September 19. When the “walk” was concluded on September 20, the Penn sons claimed 1,200,000 acres. The Lenape were outraged, but the Penn family pressed their claim.
Cement was patented in 1871. David Oliver Saylor, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, received patent number 119,413. Children can take some virtual tours of cement being made at: Cement.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was the nation’s capital for this day only in 1777. The prior capital was Philadelphia, and the next capital was York, Pennsylvania. Children can view the list of the sites of the nation’s capitals at: Capitals List.
Matchbooks were patented in 1892 by Joshua Pusey of Lima, Pennsylvania. He received patent number 483,166. Children can view the patent at: Matchbook Patent.
National German-American Day is celebrated by Presidential Proclamation since 1987. This day was chosen because in 1683 German immigrants founded the community of Germantown, Pennsylvania.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was founded in 1682 by William Penn. The City of Brotherly Love was originally laid out in a grid system with many parks. Today Philadelphia is the sixth largest city in the United States. Children can learn some “Philadelphia Firsts” at: Philadelphia Firsts.