Tagged A History Minute

Friday the 13th

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 viewed as unlucky. But how did we get…

A History Minute: Octavius V. Catto - Philadelphia's Forgotten Freedom Fighter

On Sept. 26, 2017, the fence will come down and a new statue will be unveiled: the first new City Hall statue since 1923 and the first of an African American on any city-owned public property. It’s a lot of fuss over a man…

A History Minute: Neighborhood Beginnings - Overbrook

Overbrook gets its name  from a train station built over a brook. This is quite appropriate, as it was the Pennsylvania Railroad that bought trolley rights  to Lancaster Avenue from 52nd Street to Paoli in 1876 and began…

A History Minute: What is The Lazaretto?

Almost 100 years before Ellis Island, Philadelphia established The Lazaretto Station. It became the point of entry for all ships and passengers arriving during the quarantine season of June through October. The Lazaretto is the oldest…

A History Minute: Neighborhood Beginnings - Olney

Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods and Olney is a neighborhood of cultures. Today Olney is the most diverse  of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods and its 5th Street business corridor serves recent immigrants from Korea,…

A History Minute: Latinos and the American Revolution

18th century Philadelphia was primarily a port city, its wealth based on imports and exports from all over the world. At the time of the American Revolution, the city’s major trading partners included the Spanish colonies of the…

A History Minute: The Fortunes of Philadelphia - The Engineers

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 dirty could come and make his fortune.…

A History Minute: The Fortunes of Philadelphia - The Trolley Kings

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 fill new jobs. The 1854 Act of…

A History Minute: The "Philadelphia Apocalypse" a.k.a. Yellow Fever

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 except for a handful of vendors who put…

The Richest Man in America

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 French captain, Stephan Girard, saw an…

A History Minute: Philadelphia's Medical Mystery

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+ members of the Pennsylvania chapter of the…

A History Minute: Labor Day

Labor Day weekend is here and with it the end of another summer. A long holiday weekend is on tap for most of the country, but few of us nowadays may know or remember exactly why we have off on Monday. Let's take A History Minute,…

A History Minute: The Bikini

It's summertime, that means many Philadelphia families are taking trips to the “shore” - yup, the Jersey Shore. You might not see Snooki, The Situation, or Pauly D, but odds are if you take a walk on the beach you'll…