National Pennsylvania Day – July 20: History, Activities & Celebrate

National Pennsylvania Day: On July 20th, the state of Pennsylvania celebrates its rich history, vibrant culture, and remarkable contributions to the United States. National Pennsylvania Day is an opportunity for Pennsylvanians and Americans alike to commemorate this significant state. From its colonial past to its pivotal role in the American Revolution and its modern-day achievements, Pennsylvania holds a special place in the nation’s heart. In this article, we will delve into the fascinating history, traditions, and attractions that make Pennsylvania a unique and treasured state.

National Pennsylvania Day History

The exact origin of National Pennsylvania Day is not well-documented, but it is believed to have been established to honor the founding of Pennsylvania as one of the original 13 colonies in the United States. Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn in 1681 as a place of religious freedom and tolerance. The state played a significant role in American history, being the site of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Over time, the day has grown to recognize the diverse cultural and historical contributions that Pennsylvania has made to the nation.

The Birth of Pennsylvania

  • 1. William Penn’s Vision

National Pennsylvania Day traces its origins back to the founding of the state itself. In 1681, King Charles II granted a charter to William Penn, a Quaker and visionary, who sought to create a haven for religious freedom and equality. Penn’s vision shaped Pennsylvania’s principles, promoting democracy and tolerance among its settlers.

  • 2. The City of Brotherly Love – Philadelphia

Philadelphia, the largest city in Pennsylvania, played a crucial role in the birth of the United States. It served as the nation’s capital during the early years and hosted the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the Constitutional Convention in 1787.

Revolutionary Heritage

  • 1. Independence Hall

Independence Hall in Philadelphia remains a symbol of American freedom. It was within these historic walls that the Founding Fathers debated and adopted the Declaration of Independence and later the U.S. Constitution. Visitors can explore the hallowed halls and gain insight into the birth of a nation.

  • 2. Valley Forge National Historical Park

During the harsh winter of 1777-1778, the Continental Army faced immense challenges at Valley Forge. Today, Valley Forge National Historical Park stands as a testament to the resilience and determination of General George Washington and his troops.

Keystone State’s Diverse Culture

  • 1. Rich Culinary Traditions

Pennsylvania’s culinary scene is a fusion of various cultures. From mouthwatering Philly cheesesteaks to delectable Pennsylvania Dutch dishes, the state offers a delightful array of flavors.

  • 2. Arts and Festivals

The state hosts numerous art festivals, celebrating creativity and talent. The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Andy Warhol Museum, and the Carnegie Museum of Art are just a few of the state’s cultural gems.

Natural Wonders of Pennsylvania

  • 1. Preserving Nature – Pennsylvania State Parks

Pennsylvania boasts over 120 state parks that showcase the state’s natural beauty. From the stunning waterfalls at Ricketts Glen to the serene forests of Cook Forest, nature enthusiasts can immerse themselves in breathtaking landscapes.

  • 2. The Pocono Mountains

The Pocono Mountains provide a picturesque escape with their scenic beauty and recreational opportunities. Whether it’s hiking, skiing, or simply enjoying a peaceful retreat, the Poconos have something for everyone.

Modern Innovations

  • 1. Medical Advancements

Pennsylvania has been at the forefront of medical innovations, with leading research institutions and healthcare facilities contributing to groundbreaking discoveries.

  • 2. Technological Hub – Silicon Valley of the East

The state’s major cities, including Pittsburgh, have earned the nickname “Silicon Valley of the East” due to their thriving tech industries and innovative startups.

National Pennsylvania Day Celebration

On National Pennsylvania Day, people throughout the state and beyond celebrate in various ways to showcase their pride in Pennsylvania’s heritage. Some common ways to celebrate include:

  • Visiting historical sites: Pennsylvania boasts numerous historical landmarks and sites, such as Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Gettysburg Battlefield, and the Liberty Bell. On this day, people might visit these sites to learn more about the state’s pivotal role in shaping American history.
  • Festivals and events: Many towns and cities across Pennsylvania host special events and festivals on this day, featuring local music, arts, crafts, and food. These gatherings bring the community together and showcase the state’s unique culture.
  • Sharing Pennsylvania trivia: Whether online or in person, people might share interesting trivia and facts about the state, its cities, and notable residents. It’s a fun way to educate others about Pennsylvania’s history and culture.
  • Exploring nature: Pennsylvania is known for its beautiful landscapes, including the Pocono Mountains, the Allegheny National Forest, and the scenic Amish countryside. Residents and visitors might take the opportunity to go hiking, camping, or enjoy outdoor activities that showcase the state’s natural beauty.

National Pennsylvania Day Activities

Here are some activities that individuals and communities can engage in to celebrate National Pennsylvania Day:

  • Cook and enjoy traditional Pennsylvania dishes: Prepare local favorites like Philly cheesesteak, scrapple, soft pretzels, or shoofly pie, and savor the unique flavors of the state.
  • Attend historical reenactments: Many historical sites in Pennsylvania organize reenactments that allow visitors to step back in time and experience key moments from the state’s history.
  • Virtual tours: For those who can’t physically visit Pennsylvania, consider taking virtual tours of museums, landmarks, and historical sites to immerse yourself in the state’s history and culture.
  • Support local businesses: Show your appreciation for Pennsylvania by supporting local businesses, artisans, and craftsmen who contribute to the state’s economy and culture.

5 Interesting Facts About Pennsylvania

  • 1. Birthplace of the United States

One of the most significant facts about Pennsylvania is its pivotal role in the birth of the United States. In 1681, King Charles II granted the charter to William Penn, establishing the colony of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s largest city, became the nation’s capital during the early years and hosted the signing of both the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the Constitutional Convention in 1787. Independence Hall in Philadelphia remains a symbol of American freedom and democracy, where the Founding Fathers laid the foundation for the nation.

  • 2. City of Firsts

Pennsylvania boasts a long list of “firsts” in the United States. Philadelphia, in particular, is known as the “City of Firsts” for its numerous pioneering achievements. The first American zoo, the Philadelphia Zoo, opened here in 1874. Additionally, the city was home to the nation’s first hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital, established in 1751. The first American library, the Library Company of Philadelphia, was founded in the city in 1731. These milestones showcase Pennsylvania’s historical significance and its commitment to progress and innovation.

  • 3. A Paradise for Nature Enthusiasts

Pennsylvania’s diverse landscapes make it a paradise for nature enthusiasts. The state is home to over 120 state parks, offering a plethora of outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, fishing, and more. Ricketts Glen State Park, known for its stunning waterfalls, and Presque Isle State Park, featuring beautiful sandy beaches on Lake Erie, are just a few examples of the state’s natural treasures. Pennsylvania also boasts the Pocono Mountains, a popular destination for skiing, hiking, and enjoying the beauty of nature.

  • 4. Culinary Delights

Pennsylvania’s culinary scene reflects its diverse cultural heritage. The famous Philly cheesesteak, a mouthwatering sandwich made with thinly sliced beefsteak and melted cheese, has become an iconic symbol of the state’s cuisine. Pennsylvania Dutch dishes, such as shoofly pie and scrapple, are beloved specialties that showcase the region’s German influence. Moreover, Hershey, Pennsylvania, is home to the Hershey Company, a major chocolate manufacturer known for its delicious confections.

  • 5. A State of Museums and Art

Art and history enthusiasts will find a wealth of treasures in Pennsylvania’s museums and galleries. The Philadelphia Museum of Art, one of the largest and most renowned art museums in the country, houses an extensive collection of artworks spanning various cultures and time periods. The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh pays homage to the famous pop artist and showcases his iconic works. Additionally, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh offers fascinating exhibits on paleontology, anthropology, and natural history.

National Pennsylvania Day Dates

2023July 20Thursday
2024July 20Saturday
2025July 20Sunday
2026July 20Monday
2027July 20Tuesday

National Pennsylvania Day Quotes, Wishes & Messages

“Let the Liberty Bell’s echo remind us that freedom’s voice can never be silenced.” – John F. Kennedy

“Pennsylvania’s beauty lies not just in its landscapes but in the hearts of its people.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“As we celebrate National Pennsylvania Day, let us cherish the values of diversity, liberty, and unity that this great state exemplifies.” – Unknown

Wishing all Pennsylvanians a joyous and memorable National Pennsylvania Day! May this day be filled with pride and appreciation for our beloved state.

Happy National Pennsylvania Day to everyone near and far! May the spirit of brotherly love and community unity continue to shine brightly.

On this special day, I wish Pennsylvania and its people prosperity, progress, and boundless happiness. Happy National Pennsylvania Day!

Sending warm wishes on National Pennsylvania Day! May the history and heritage of our state continue to inspire generations to come.

As we celebrate National Pennsylvania Day, here’s to the state that has given us so much to cherish and be grateful for. Cheers to Pennsylvania!

Today, we commemorate the birth of a state that has stood the test of time, a place that embodies resilience, diversity, and progress. Happy National Pennsylvania Day!

On this auspicious day, let’s take a moment to reflect on the journey of Pennsylvania – a tapestry woven with the threads of bravery, innovation, and culture.

To all Pennsylvanians, may you be forever proud of your roots and the contributions your state has made to the nation. Happy National Pennsylvania Day!

From the Liberty Bell to the Allegheny Mountains, Pennsylvania’s beauty is matched only by the warmth and kindness of its people. Happy National Pennsylvania Day to all!

As we celebrate National Pennsylvania Day, let’s remember that the true essence of this great state lies not just in its history but in the people who call it home.


National Pennsylvania Day is a time to reflect on the remarkable journey of the Keystone State. From its foundation on principles of freedom to its diverse cultural heritage and modern-day achievements, Pennsylvania continues to be an integral part of American identity. As we celebrate this special day, let us honor the past, embrace the present, and look forward to the bright future that lies ahead for the great state of Pennsylvania.


1. What is National Pennsylvania Day?

National Pennsylvania Day is a celebration of the state of Pennsylvania’s history, culture, and contributions to the United States. It takes place on July 20th each year.

2. Why is Philadelphia significant to Pennsylvania’s history?

Philadelphia is the largest city in Pennsylvania and played a crucial role in the founding of the United States. It hosted the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitutional Convention.

3. What can visitors see at Valley Forge National Historical Park?

Valley Forge National Historical Park preserves the site where George Washington’s Continental Army endured a challenging winter during the American Revolution. Visitors can explore historic landmarks and gain insights into this pivotal period.

4. What are some famous Pennsylvania dishes?

Pennsylvania is known for its diverse culinary traditions. Some famous dishes include Philly cheesesteaks, Pennsylvania Dutch dishes like shoofly pie and scrapple, and chocolate from Hershey.

5. How many state parks are there in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania boasts over 120 state parks, each offering unique outdoor experiences, such as hiking, fishing, camping, and more.

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