HAPPY FUCKIN’ BIRTHDAY PHILADELPHIA?
The official charter for the city was signed by William Penn on October 25, 1701, so some claim the city is 311 years old. However, the town of Philadelphia must have existed for some time for it to be a city in 1701. The consensus is that the actual founding of Philadelphia took place on October 27, 1682, when William Penn first came to inspect his new capitol, though some sources say he actually landed in Delaware or Chester County that day and didn’t arrive in Philly until the next day.
Then there’s the above picture of City Hall all snazzed-up for the Founders Week celebration in 1908, and the date on the building is clearly 1683, placing the 330th birthday in 2013. Seems definitive, but the City may have fudged things so they could hold the 225th celebration that year. Perhaps one of the Penn-family internet trolls will stop by and clear this up.
What’s for sure is that this three or four day smear marks the anniversary of our beloved city’s establishment.
Want to celebrate? Well there are plenty of parties for Halloween but none that honor the city’s birth. The most notable non-celebrant is the City itself. Contrast the (zero) official festivities this year with the week-long extravaganza that accompanied the 225th anniversary celebration in 1908 drawing over 100,000 visitors, 13 naval ships, extra rail cars, and 20,000 Catholics kneeling in the streets.
How will you celebrate? Walk Kelly and MLK drives? Camp out in Penn Treaty Park? Kneel in the streets?