This is surely the most historic city in the US. Designated the capital of the lands granted to William Penn by King Charles II, Penn regarded the colony he founded as a "holy experiment" and ensured that its laws respected religious freedom and liberal government. He named his capital after the Greek for "brotherly love," and designed it with wide streets to ensure that the havoc caused by London's winding maze during the Great Fire of 1666 would never occur here. His plan became the guide for most cities in the new nation. Philadelphia quickly became the second largest metropolis in the British empire (London was first). Here is where opposition to British policy in the colonies was centered, and where colonial leaders met to plan their course of action.
Here is where the Declaration of Independence was written, and here was the first capital of the new United States. Here is the birthplace of the Constitution of the United State of America, and here is the home of the Liberty Bell. Benjamin Franklin s efforts made this city a center for developments in the world of arts and science. Philadelphia suffered five yellow-fever epidemics between the years of 1793 and 1820. Thousands died, but the experience led to the construction of the first city water system in the nation. The 19th century was also challenging for Philadelphia, as New York City superceded it as the nation s cultural, commercial and industrial center. Although the City of Brotherly Love has never recovered its earlier glory, it has restored its monuments, and is now considered among the nation s best in lifestyle and character. Come to Philadelphia and make a little history of your own.