Benjamin Franklin's grave is in the Christ Church burial ground at 5th and Arch Streets. He was buried in April of 1790; the cemetery was bought by Christ Church in 1719. It is said to be lucky to toss a penny on his grave.

Source: from

Marian Anderson was born in Philadelphia on February 27, 1897, and she died in Portland, OR on April 8, 1993. Considered one of the finest contraltos of her time, Anderson was the first African American to perform for the President at the White House (1939) and the first African American to perform as a member of the New York Metropolitan Opera (1955).

Source: Marian Anderson Biography. Retrieved from
The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2001, v.1 p. 615, Stanley Sadie, 780.3 N42G2

John Barrymore (1882-1942) died at 60 from liver and heart disease. He was originally entombed in block 352, crypt F-3, mausoleum at Calvary Cemetery in East Los Angeles. In December 1980 the casket was removed on orders from his son John Drew Barrymore, cremated, and the ashes taken by him to the Drew-Blythe plot in Mt. Vernon Cemetery in Philadelphia. The grave was unmarked until 1998.

Source: Resting Places: The Burial Sites of Over 7,000 Famous Persons, 2001, p.21, Scott Wilson, 920.02 W697R

His last words were "A dying man can do nothing easily."

Source: 64 People and Their Famous Last Words. Retrieved from

Crystal Bird Fauset (1893-1965), of Philadelphia, was elected to the Pennsylvania state legislature in 1938. As a state representative, Fauset introduced nine bills and three amendments on issues concerning public health, housing, public relief, and working women. She also sponsored an amendment to the Pennsylvania Female Labor Law of 1913 to better protect women in the workplace.

Source: Crystal Bird Fauset Historical Marker. Retrieved from
Black Firsts, 2003, p.262, Jessie Carney Smith, 909.0496 Sm61b

Mother Bethel Church, founded in August 1794, was the first Methodist church in the North to be organized by African Americans. It was founded by Richard Allen, a former slave, at 6th and Lombard Street in Philadelphia.

Source: Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church. Retrieved from
Famous First Facts, 1997, p.482, Joseph Nathan Kane, 031.02 K132F 5th ED

The Drew/Barrymore family is considered to be the Royal Family of the American Stage. John Drew (1827-1862) came to America from Dublin early in his life, and he was a prominent actor. He married Louisa Lane (1820-1897) who was a noted character actress. Their careers were associated with the Arch Street Theater in Philadelphia. John Drew (1853-1927), their son, was born in Philadelphia, and he also was an actor working for Augustin Daly’s company in New York. Georgiana (1856-1893), their daughter, was a great comedian and she married Maurice Barrymore, an English actor. They had three children, Lionel, Ethel, and John. Lionel Barrymore (1878-1954) was a character actor, Ethel Barrymore (1879-1959) was an actress, and John Barrymore (1882-1942) was also an actor. John Barrymore is also the grandfather to movie actress Drew Barrymore.

Source: Philadelphia: The Fabulous City of Firsts, 1976, p.31, G. Don Fairbairn, 974.81 F15p, and The Internet Movie Database biography of John Barrymore.

That would be Jack Jones, who in 1972 took over WCAU's evening newscast. In 1976 he moved to KYW-TV and then in 1979 to Chicago and WLS-TV. In 1984 he returned to KYW-TV where he stayed until his death in 1991 from pancreatic cancer.

Source: Jack Jones. Retrieved from

The Moore College of Art was founded by Sara Worthington Pepter in 1848. In 1959 the College moved to its present location on Logan Square and 20th Street in Philadelphia.

Source: Historical Facts. Retrieved from

The Calder family has works of art by three generations along the axis of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Alexander Milne Calder's statue of William Penn tops City Hall. Alexander Stirling Calder's Swann Memorial Fountain is in Logan Circle, while Alexander "Sandy" Calder's mobile "Ghost" is in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Source: Public Art in Philadelphia, 1992, p.74, Penny Balkin Bach, 709.7481 B122P

Octavius V. Catto was a Philadelphia African American who grew to national prominence in the mid-19th century. He raised African American troops to serve in the Civil War and in the late 1860s became a national spokesperson for enfranchisement and civil rights for African Americans. He was also famous for desegregating Philadelphia streetcars, and organizing a black baseball team, the Pythians. Catto  was a professor at the Institute for Colored Youth (later Cheyney University) when he was shot defending the black vote during riots in 1871.

Source: The Triumph and Tragedy of Octavius V. Catto. Retrieved from

Alain Locke, who graduated from Central High School at age 15, earned a Litt. D. from Oxford Univ. in 1911. He became a noted author, and was chairman of the philosophy department at Howard Univ. for over 40 years.

Source: FWP. Philadelphia; A Guide to the Nation's Birthplace. 1937, p.201

Charles Hires first called this beverage tea. Russell Conwell, founder of Temple University pointed out that men would more likely buy it if it was called beer.

Source: Temple Review. Spring 1991. p.23.

Jacob Bersen came up with the idea while working at Philadelphia's Metropolitan Opera House in 1911. The idea caught on, and soon he was selling snacks to many of Philadelphia's theaters.

Source: Temple Reviw. Spring 1991, p.23.

Brothers E. Irvine and Clarence Scott invented the roll of toilet paper in 1879.

Source: Temple Review, Spring 1991, p.24.

Captain Thomas Holmes, the first surveyor General of Pennsylvania, is buried near the Pennypack Creek at Crispin Cemetery on Holmes Circle in Northeast Philadelphia.

Source: Fairmount Park, a History and Guidebook, 1974, p.140, Esther M. Klein, 917.481 K672f

Logan, perhaps best known for being William Penn's secretary, was also President of the Provincial Council, Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and Mayor of Philadelphia. Logan Square, located between 18th and 20th Streets on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, was named for him.

Source: Fairmount Park, a History and Guidebook, 1974, p.153, Esther M. Klein, 917.481 K672f

Its words were written by Philip Brooks, who at the time was the rector of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church; the organist, Lewis Redner, wrote the music. It was first sung there on December 20, 1868.

Source: Fairmount Park, a History and Guidebook, 1974, p.151, Esther M. Klein, 917.481 K672f

Frank Stockton, born in Philadelphia in 1834 and educated at Central High School, wrote "The Lady and the Tiger" as well as many other novels and short stories.

Source: FWP. Philadelphia; A guide to the Nation's Birthplace. 1937, p.194-195.

Horace Furness and Horace Furness Jr. put together the definitive Variorum edition of Shakespeare. S. Austin Allibone compiled the Dictionary of English Literature.

Source: FWP. Philadelphia; A Guide to the Nations Birthplace. 1937, p.198.

Rebecca Gratz,(1781-1869), was famous for her beauty, her wisdom and her virtue. Honored for her extensive charitable works, she was most famous for helping found the Hebrew Sunday School Society and for being the model for Rebecca in Scott's Ivanhoe.

Source: Philadelphia Bulletin Almanc, 1976, p.284.

Her home was a gathering place for people such as Washington Irving and Fanny Kemble. She helped found the Female Association for the Relief of Woman and Children, the Philadelphia Orphans Asylum,the Female Hebrew Benevolent Society and other charities.

Source: Notable American Women, 1607-1950, v.1, p.75.

Robert Morris, head of the Finance Department of the federal government, proposed to Congress on January 15, 1782 that the United States Mint be built in Philadelphia. The cornerstone was laid on July 31, 1792, and the construction was completed on September 7.

Source: Famous First Facts About American Politics, 2001, p.114-115, Steven Anzovin, 973 An99f

This comedian, who took a dim view of many things (except perhaps alcohol)grew up poor in Philadelphia, and never forgot the privations and indignities of his youth.

Source: Bartlett. Familiar Quotations. 16th ed., 1992, p. 641.

If you visit Christ Church, you will find markers showing the pews where George Washington, Robert Morris, Benjamin Franklin and Betsy Ross once sat. The church is now a National Shrine.

Source: from

During the Revolutionary period, William White served as Chaplain to both the Continental Congress and to the United States Senate. He is buried in the Chancel of Christ Church.

Source: Philadelphia Bulletin Almanac, 1976, p.293

Betsy Ross, or Elizabeth Griscom Ross Ashburn Claypoole (1752-1836), was first buried in the Free Quaker Cemetery at 5th and Locust Streets in Philadelphia. When it was abandoned in 1857, she and her third husband were moved to Mount Moriah Cemetery at 62nd and Kingsessing Avenue. Near the end of 1975 her descendents got a court order to have her disinterred and reburied in the garden of her home at 239 Arch Street.

Source: Resting Places: The Burial Sites of Over 7,000 Famous Persons, 2001, p.319, Scott Wilson, 920.02 W697R

Our earliest example of its use is in a letter dated 1694 by Johannes Kelpius, which describes his location as where "foxes burrow in the rocks." By 1706 this area was commonly called Roxborough.

Source: Bulletin Almanac and Yearbook, 1976, p.298, 917.481 B87 1976

Eleanora Fagan Gough was born on April 7, 1915 at Philadelphia General Hospital. She would grow up to be Billie Holiday.

Source: Billie Holiday. Retrieved from
Billie Holiday, 1995, p.18, Stuart Nicholson, 784.53 H724N

The Surgeon-General to the Revolutionary Army, Dr. Benjamin Rush invented a "tranquilizing chair" in 1800 for the mentally unstable. He was an advocate of humane treatment for the mentally unwell.

Source: Philly Firsts: The Famous, Infamous, and Quirky of the City of Brotherly Love, 1999, p.83, Janice L. Booker, 974.811 B644P

It was written in 1811 by Dr. Casper Wistar, for whom the Wistar Institute is named. Wistar, after his medical education in England, worked in Philadelphia after 1787. He was also a president of the American Philosophical Society.

Source: Philly Firsts: The Famous, Infamous, and Quirky of the City of Brotherly Love, 1999, p.90, Janice L. Booker, 974.811 B644P

Alexander Milne Calder designed both the statue and the tower. Calder spent 21 years working on this and other statues for the building.

Source: Philadelphia Bulletin Almanac,1976. p. 280

John Coltrane and McCoy Tyler are included in this collection.

Source: Phila. CultureFest Trivia Quiz Questions

Girard Collge was founded by Stephen Girard in 1848 to educate poor white male orphans. The institution, on Girard Avenue between 19th and 25th Streets, still educates underprivileged Philadelphian children of both sexes and all races.

Source: Philadelphia Bulletin Almanac, 1976, p.320

It was naturalist John Bartram's, started in Philadelphia in about 1728. Bartram traveled from New England to Florida collecting seeds and plants for cultivation and exchange with English botanists. He was named Royal Botanist in America by King George III. His house and the garden,  at 54th Street and Lindbergh Blvd., are open to the public

Source: Historic Bartram's Garden. Retrieved from

Fritz Scheel was the first conductor in 1899. Karl Pohlig was the second conductor in 1907, he resigned June 10, 1912. Leopold Stokowski was the third conductor until 1936. Eugene Ormandy was the fourth.

Source: Those Fabulous Philadelphians: The Life and Times of a Great Orchestra, 1969, p.15-16, 26-29, 100, 112, Herbert Kupferberg, 785 P53ZK

The Mud Fort, located on the Delaware River just below the mouth of the Schuylkill, was originally built by the British but was garrisoned by the Americans at the beginning of the Revolutionary War. In 1777 the British reduced the fort to rubble. It was rebuilt after the war to protect the new nation's capital and was named after General Thomas Mifflin of Philadelphia.

Source: Forts and Fortifications. Retrieved from

It was founded in South Philadelphia in 1852 by Bishop John Newmann, and is called St. Magdalene de Pazzi Roman Catholic Church.

Source: Philadelphia Bulletin Almanac, 1976, p 392

It was in Philadelphia, in 1869, and under the aegis of local journalist and novelist George Lippard.

Source: Philadelphia Bulletin Almanac, 1976, p. 411

"Oh! Dem Golden Slippers" was written in 1879 by an African American named James A. Bland. It was played in the Mummers' Parade in 1903. It is still played in Mummers' Parades to this day, and the rhythm and harmony lends itself to the dancing of the Golden Slipper, or Mummers' Strut.

Source: Oh! Dem Golden Slippers. Retrieved from
Oh! Dem Golden Slippers, 1970, p.115, Charles E. Welch, 394.5 P53W

Born in 1760, he was a slave to the Chew family in Germantown till he bought his freedom at 22. He became a minister and in 1787 led a walkout from St. Georges Methodist Church, which was the start of the founding of the first African American church.

Source: Philadelphia Bulletin Almanac, 1976, p.576

Besides Carpenters’ Hall, Robert Smith designed the Christ Church steeple, St. Peter’s Church located at 3rd and Pine Streets and Old Pine Presbyterian Church at 4th and Pine.

Source: Robert Smith. Retrieved from

It was the PSFS Building, designed by George Howe and William Lecaze, and then constructed by the Philadelphia Saving Fund Society in 1932. Standing at 12th and Market Streets, it rose 36-stories high, and was topped by a lighted sign reading PSFS.

Source: PSFS Building. Retrieved from

That would be the Lubin Manufacturing Company at 20th Street and Indiana Avenue. The Lubin studio, run by Siegmund Lubin, was most active from 1910-1914, and it produced westerns, dramas, comedies, documentaries and educational films.

Source: Philadelphia Inq., 05/05/2995

Julian Abele, the first African American graduate in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania (class of 02), headed the Trumbauer firm's collaboration on the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Source: Julian Francis Abele. Retrieved from
Germantown Courier, 02/11/1998

During the American Revolution Molly Rinker would knit atop this rock in what is now Fairmount Park. She would often drop a ball of yarn in which was a coded message for our troops. This rock is now marked by a statue of a Quaker, which bears the message Toleration.

Source: Mount Airy in Philadelphia, 1979, p.3, Phyllis Knapp Thomas, 974.811 T366m

The Philadelphia Tribune wins that honor, having been started in 1884 by James Perry, who served as editor, publisher, staff and deliverer.

Source: About Philadelphia. Retrieved from

The painting, considered today to be a masterpiece, is owned jointly by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, who purchased it from Jefferson Medical College in 2007. It was considered too graphic to be hung with the fine art during the Centennial Exhibition, so instead it was allocated to the U.S. Army Post Hospital Exhibit.

Source: Portrait of Dr. Samuel D. Gross. Retrieved from

Dr. A.S.W. Rosenbach of Philadephia bought Ulysses in 1924 for $1,975. It is now part of the collection of the Rosenbach Museum and Library located at 2010 Delancey Street.

Source: Philadelphia Almanac and Citizen's Manual, 1995, p.19, Kenneth Finkel, 974.811 P53AA

They were Robert Henri, William Glackens; John Sloan, George Luks and Everett Shinn.

Source: Philadelphia Almanac and Citizen's Manual, 1995, p.20, Kenneth Finkel, 974.811 P53AA

The first non-German textile mill in Germantown was built by William Logan Fisher on Wingohocking Creek in 1809.

Source: Workshop of the World: A Selective Guide to the Industrial Archeology of Philadelphia, 1990, p.3:4, The Oliver Evans Chapter of The Society for Industrial Archeology, 900 W892o

When Julian Abele ended his university studies, Horace Trumbauer, head of an architectural firm in Philadelphia, paid for Abele to travel to Paris to attend the prestigious school for four years. Abele then became chief designer at Trumbauer's firm.

Source: Black Architect Gave Shape to an Idea.

He was born in South Philadelphia in 1881 and died in 1950. Buildings he helped design include the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Philadelphia Free Library, The Widener Library at Harvard University and campus buildings at Duke University.

Source: Haverford gate a portal to architect Abele's legend.

18th-century financier Robert Morris owned a country estate there which he called "The Hills" . In a greenhouse on the grounds he grew lemons and oranges, hence the name "Lemon Hill."

Source: Fairmount Park, a History and Guidebook, 1974, p.13, Esther M. Klein, 917.481 K672f

Frederick Graff designed and built the first stage of the Fairmount Water Works between 1812 and 1815. This design used steam engines to pump water from the river to the reservoir. In 1819 Graff built both the machinery and mill house, which bypassed the steam engines and used waterwheels to power the pumps.

Source: Nomination Form. National Register of Historic Places Inventory. Retrieved from

The Tasty Baking Company was formed in 1914 by Philip J. Bauer and Herbert Morris. By 1922 the company was such a success that they acquired a new headquarters at 2801 Hunting Park Avenue in the Nicetown section of Philadelphia.

Source: Workshop of the World: A Selective Guide to the Industrial Archeology of Philadelphia, 1990, p.12:12, The Oliver Evans Chapter of The Society for Industrial Archeology, 900 W892o

Thomas Eakins, famous painter and sculptor, was forced to resign from the Academy for this reason in 1886.

Source: Adams, Henry. Eakins Revealed; The Secret Like of an American Artist. Oxford UP, 2005. pp. 49-59 759.13 EA52A

Frank Rizzo served two consecutive terms as mayor of Philadelphia, from 1972 to 1980.

Source: Smart, James. Historic Philadelphia. San Antonio: Historical Publication Network, 2001. p. 121 974.811 SM28H

Rebecca Gratz is buried in the Mikveh Israel Cemetery.

Source: Ashton, Dianne. Rebecca Gratz: Women and Judaism in Antebellum America. Detroit: Wayne State UP, 1997. 917.4811 G774A

On May 3, 1843, Mayor John M. Scott was in his office when Adalberte Benedictis Ptolemeis, a homeless man, entered and demanded the mayor give him a job as an Italian and geometry teacher. When the request was denied Ptolemeis shot Scott in the back. Scott only suffered a bruise as the bullet was stopped by the webbing of his silk suspenders.

Source: Finkel, Kenneth. Philadelphia Almanac and Citizen's Manual. Philadelphia: Library Company of Philadelphia, 1995. p. 137.