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.
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.
Matchbooks were patented in 1892 by Joshua Pusey of Lima, Pennsylvania. He received patent number 483,166. Children can learn more about matches and matchbooks at: Matchbooks.
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 fifth largest city in the United States. Children can learn some “Philadelphia Firsts” at: Philadelphia Firsts.
Jeremiah Dixon and Charles Mason started to survey the Mason-Dixon Line in 1763. This line marked the border between Pennsylvania and Maryland. They finished their work on December 26, 1767. Originally their work was to settle a very contentious land dispute between the Penn family (Pennsylvania) and the Calvert family (Maryland). Later, as the Civil War approached, the line somewhat divided the country into the north and the south. Older children can learn much, much more at: Mason-Dixon Line.
Pennsylvania became the second state of the United States by ratifying the Constitution in 1787. William Penn received a charter for the colony in 1681 and named it after his father. The name means, “Penn’s Woods.” The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were both signed in Philadelphia. Harrisburg is the state capital, and its nickname is the Keystone State. In 1780 it was the first state to end slavery. It is a large transportation center, since it has access to both the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Erie. Children could discover what a keystone is and how it relates to Pennsylvania’s nickname. They could also visit the America’s Library site at: Pennsylvania.