Tagged A History Minute

A History Minute: The Many Firsts of Sadie T. M. Alexander

Women today often talk about the difficulty of "having it all", but Sadie T.M. Alexander was more concerned with "doing it all." She not only raised two children and worked to advance her husband’s political…

Oldest, Biggest, Best: A History of the Philadelphia Flower Show

The Philadelphia Flower Show was the first public flower show held in the U.S. and it has become the largest and longest-running flower show in the world. The seed that became the Philadelphia Flower Show was planted in November 1827 ,…

Neighborhood Beginnings: 11 Things You Should Know About Mt. Airy

In preparation for a special Free Library event taking place this Wednesday, January 15 at Lovett Library , today we'll be looking at the history and architecture of Mt. Airy. The neighborhood has a fascinating history, along with…

A History Minute | Who was Mae Reeves and Why is She in the Smithsonian?

For over 50 years, Mae’s Millinery (definition: "the art of hat-making") was a fixture in Philadelphia, a destination for women from up and down the East Coast in search of the perfect hat. Now Mae’s is once more a…

Neighborhood Beginnings: from Pigs to Pigskin - 11 Things You Might Not Know About "The Neck"

Philadelphia has and always will be a city of neighborhoods. In our ongoing series of Neighborhood Beginnings, today we'll be discussing a section of the city that was once referred to as... "The Neck" You have probably…

A History Minute | Father Divine and the Behind the Scenes History of The Divine Lorraine Hotel

The Divine Lorraine's story is not just that of a dilapidated building brought back to glory before the wrecking ball's kiss, but a much more complicated, dramatic, and sometimes scandalous history than most Philadelphian's…

A History Minute | Fortunes of Philadelphia: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles – The Story of Budd Manufacturing

"Stronger, lighter, safer" was the goal Edward Budd pursued his entire life. Along the way he built the largest manufacturing company in Philadelphia and forever changed the way the world travels. Edward G. Budd was born in…

Neighborhood Beginnings: from Barnyards to Broadway in East Oak Lane

The Oak Lane area of North West Philadelphia has an rich history of unique architecture and noteworthy residents. East Oak Lane spans from Cheltenhan Avenue to Godfrey Avenue and from Broad Street to North 5th Street. West Oak Lane…

A History Minute | The Fortunes of War - The Philadelphia Bankers Who Saved Our Nation

War runs on credit and the money it produces. Without money, weapons can’t be bought, ships can’t be built, soldiers can’t be fed, and the war is lost. In the first 100 years of our existence as a nation, the United…

May Day! Mayday? May Day!

What do you think of when you hear the words "May Day"? (And no, I don’t mean the distress call "mayday," which comes from m’aidir , French for "help me"—and is, interestingly, entirely…

A History Minute | 14 Surprising Facts about the Port of Philadelphia

Philadelphia has been a major center of international commerce for over 300 years. Even today, with major port complexes serving major metropolitan centers throughout the country, Philadelphia and its international seaport maintains a…

A History Minute | The Armstrong Association and The Berean Enterprise

The last decades of the 19th century produced a backlash that diminished much of the progress made by blacks in the south after emancipation and led large numbers to travel to the manufacturing centers of the north in search of a…

A History Minute | Philadelphia's Ellis Island

Washington Avenue Immigration Station: 1873-1915 I n 1870, Philadelphia was no longer the nation’s largest city, but rather the "Workshop of the World" with an endless need for skilled and unskilled workers. This, along…

A History Minute: 13 Things You Didn't Know About Daylight Saving Time

It's that time of year again, where we "Fall back" and set our clocks back an hour as Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 4, at 2:00 a.m. Although we gain an hour of sleep, we lose those precious longer lit days…

A History Minute: 11 Things You Should Know About the Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918

As we enter into the yearly flu season here in the United States, it was 100 years ago that Philadelphia itself was the epicenter of a world health pandemic. Young people in the prime of their lives died in horrifying ways and there was…

9 Things You Should Know About Philadelphia Skyscrapers

This year's National Skyscraper Day falls on Labor Day, as good a day as any to fully appreciate the architectural marvels, engineering efforts, and skilled labor that make up our cities. If you've walked or driven around Philly…

A History Minute | The Fortunes of Philadelphia - Let's Play Ball!

In these days of big bucks baseball, with the top players making over $30 million a year and the top clubs valued in the billions, it’s hard to imagine a time when America’s Pastime was an amateur endeavor and players not…

A History Minute: 11 Things You Should Know About Germantown

In our ongoing series of historical posts about Philadelphia neighborhoods, today we bring you our neighbors to the northwest, Germantown...   Germantown was the first permanent German settlement in America. Thirteen families…

In Commemoration of Law Day, the Free Library Offers Legal Advice Live!

On February 3, 1958, Dwight D. Eisenhower issued a proclamation to designate May 1 as  Law Day . This year marks its 60th anniversary. Eisenhower declared it to be a day for us to remember and reflect upon the significant role…

A Science Minute: 13 Things You Should Know About Emmy Noether

If you don't know the name Amalie Emmy Noether, you're not alone . Suffice to say, she was and remains one of the greatest minds of the 20th century. Read on to learn more about this remarkable woman as we wrap up Women's…