Posts in “history” (38)

There are many things associated with Friday the 13th, including horror films, bad luck, phobias ( paraskevidekatriaphobia ). Historians believe that Friday the 13th comes from the number 13 being… continue reading

By Christina P.   October 13, 2017   

The Philadelphia Colored Directory , a handbook of religious, social, political, professional, business activities of the Negroes of Philadelphia, was compiled by R. (Richard) R. (Robert) Wright,… continue reading

By Renee G.   October 6, 2017    3

It has been more than 150 years since Octavius Catto may have slipped on a sack overcoat that hung by his front door, pushed a well-worn felt pocket hat over his parted hair, stepped out into the… continue reading

By Kalela W.   September 25, 2017    11

In the autumn of 2016, we were tasked with a fascinating challenge: create a bold and welcoming exhibition that would discuss the history of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. On the surface, this… continue reading

By Laura S.   September 8, 2017   

Relatively few Americans have ever visited or know much about Russia, North Korea, and Turkey. Yet, each passing day seems to bring additional evidence that these nations are working to thwart… continue reading

By Richard L.   August 14, 2017    3

It’s getting hot out there, huh? As we all try our best to deal with the rising temperatures, don’t forget that the Free Library of Philadelphia is a great place to cool off during… continue reading

By Kate C.   August 1, 2017   

For the members of our Military History Club, each monthly meeting leads to a passionate and well-informed discussion about the major personalities and battles of World War II. The group is led by… continue reading

By Richard L.   July 17, 2017    1

By 1800, Philadelphia was not only the Cradle of Liberty but the center of American manufacturing and innovation. It was the kind of place a young man of vision who was not afraid to get his hands… continue reading

By Sally F.   July 10, 2017    3

Mid-19th century Philadelphia was booming. Its factories produced iron and steel, locomotives and textiles, and finished goods of all kinds. Immigrants and citizens alike flowed into the city to… continue reading

By Sally F.   June 21, 2017   

Church bells ring incessantly throughout deserted streets. Homes are abandoned and those that are not are barricaded against strangers and friends alike. Formerly bustling markets stand empty… continue reading

By Sally F.   June 6, 2017    2

In the spring of 1776 , the British began a blockade of American ports, throwing coastal shipping into disarray and sending many captains back to the more secure European routes. But a young… continue reading

By Sally F.   April 27, 2017   

The Free Library is exploring the history and art of the mystery with We the Detectives , a unique, multifaceted, and immersive intellectual and creative experience. Here we track the growth of… continue reading

By Julie B.   April 17, 2017   

Philadelphia was the place to be in July of 1976. Even Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain came to present the Bicentennial Bell , cast in the same foundry as our Liberty Bell. The 4,000+… continue reading

By Sally F.   March 16, 2017   

The Rare Book Department 's Judaica includes a beautifully written and lavishly hand-decorated Spanish Hebrew Masoretic Text bible . Commissioned in 1496 in Lisbon, Portugal, the book is… continue reading

By Caitlin G.   February 24, 2017   

New Orleans is always on my mind at this time of year. Mardi Gras is more than just Fat Tuesday in the Big Easy, and the celebrations extend far beyond Bourbon Street: parades take place all… continue reading

By Sara D.   February 23, 2017   

Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and other tech billionaire/philanthropists may have set new standards in giving, but philanthropy is an old Philadelphia tradition with two of our earliest… continue reading

By Sally F.   February 22, 2017    8

So, what’s the story with Abraham Lincoln wearing a leather biker jacket? If you’ve ever entered or exited Parkway Central Library through the back door on Wood Street, you might have… continue reading

By Paul A.   February 17, 2017    2

The peaceful transfer of power from one presidential administration to the next is a hallmark of our democracy—and something that Americans take great pride in. The occasion is particularly… continue reading

By Richard L.   January 17, 2017   

Philadelphia is a wild and weird city. There’s so much to love, to hate, to love to hate, and to hate to love. There’s also so much that we, as every day Philadelphians, have somehow… continue reading

By Sarah M.   January 5, 2017   

Are you a fan of HBO’s television series Game of Thrones ? The sixth season  of the series based on George R. R. Martin’s fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire ended in June, and… continue reading

By Camille T.   November 29, 2016    2