PHILADELPHIA - Philadelphia has a long history of tradition and celebration. The Mummers of Philadelphia are perhaps the longest-running such celebration in the country. They celebrate with song, dance, and costume splendor. The tradition originated with Swedish immigrants and spread to South Philly neighborhoods in the 1970s. But as the celebration grew, the city had to step in and regulate the celebration because the Mummers were causing rivalry between the neighborhoods.
The Philadelphia-based foundry workers were given the job of recreating the Liberty Bell. The foundry was able to reproduce the bell using a unique process that involved melting down the original. Copper was added to the original material a little less than an ounce at a time. This technique helped restore the original tone of the bell.
The Liberty Bell originally came from the Whitechapel Foundry in London. However, on its first ring in the Pennsylvania State House, it cracked, and the Philadelphians mocked it. However, in 1781, John Pass and John Stow, two Philadelphians, melted down the original bell and recreated it. This process has been controversial, and reasonable minds have disagreed on this issue for centuries.
The cheesesteak is one of the most iconic foods in Philadelphia. It's a classic American sandwich that cuts across generations and class lines. It's a food that speaks to a community's pride and the lore and characters that define it. There are countless places to buy a cheesesteak in Philadelphia. But some cheesesteak spots have become iconic for their unique flavors and ambiance.
Philadelphia cheesesteaks are a city food that's genuinely famous throughout the world. They're a unique combination of thinly sliced rib eye beef tucked into a soft, warm roll and covered in melted cheese. A cheesesteak aficionado might also opt to top it with sliced onions and tomatoes.
Philadelphia is famous for Rocky, the movie starring Sylvester Stallone. In the movie, Rocky trains to run up the big steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum. The Philadelphia Art Museum even has a statue of the virtual character beneath the stairs. Several opposing teams visit the Rocky Steps to glimpse the famous film.
In 1976, a statue was unveiled in Philadelphia, where the story of Rocky was filmed. It represents the iconic hero with his arms raised to symbolize the moment of victory. The statue was installed temporarily at the Philadelphia Museum of Art while filming the "ROCKY" movies. Later, it was permanently installed at the Spectrum Sports Complex, where boxing events took place.
The Mummers are a renowned folk art that is performed by women and men from all walks of life throughout Philadelphia. They are organized into clubs and divisions, each with its unique character and flair. The Fancy Division focuses on outrageous costumes and floats, while the Comic Division satirizes current issues in society. Mummers in this division often make their props and costumes. The oldest comic club is the Goodtimers Comic Club, and the youngest is the Murray Comic Club.
The Mummers' parade was first held in 1901. The city government sponsored the parade, and 42 fraternal clubs received permits to participate. Prizes were awarded for best costumes, best music, and funniest antics. Since then, it has become an annual tradition in Philadelphia.
The Italian Catholic community in Philadelphia has a long history. The mass emigration of Italians from Italy to the United States provides an essential chapter in the city's history. Italian Catholics in Philadelphia have enjoyed a vibrant Catholic church life for over a century. But the immigrant community faced a range of challenges. In the late 1800s, the number of Italians in Philadelphia approached 30,000. In 1898, a new Augustinian parish, Our Lady of Good Counsel, was built near St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi. Traditional Italian Catholicism was the norm in this congregation, and processions began at the church and wound through the neighborhood. In the following decades, the Philadelphia archdiocese established 23 Italian national parishes within its boundaries.
During the 1930s, the Italian community in Philadelphia faced several challenges. In addition to the poor economic condition of Italian immigrants, church leaders felt that Italian immigrants were losing faith and defecting from the Catholic Church. Furthermore, they believed that the Augustinian presence in the Italian community was damaging the diocese. Hence, the diocese suppressed the Italian parish of Our Lady of Good Counsel in 1933, inciting angry demonstrations in the Italian community.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is the cultural heart of Philadelphia. Its collection of artwork spans the Americas, Asia, and Europe. Among its notable exhibits are van Gogh's Sunflowers and the only Rodin museum outside France. The museum also has a new multilevel Forum space.
The museum opened on March 26, 1928. Its exhibits include sections devoted to British and American art. Its first director, Historian Fiske Kimball, was appointed in 1925. In his tenure, the museum acquired three noteworthy collections. In 1955, the Museum acquired the J.L. Williams Memorial Collection of oriental carpets; in 1958, it purchased fifteen galleries of Philadelphia furniture and silver. In 1959, it acquired thirteen Roman tapestries depicting the life of Constantine the Great. These acquisitions greatly expanded the Museum's collection.
The diverse population of Philadelphia includes several cultures. The city is home to many free Blacks, African Americans, Welsh Quakers, and Ulster Scots. It also has a large population of Pennsylvania Dutch, including German Mennonites and Quakers. Hindus and Muslims have also increased their numbers in the city, mainly in the Northeast and West Philadelphia regions.
The diverse population of Philadelphia is made up of immigrants from all over the world. Immigrants have been growing in the metro area for over 20 years. During the 1950s, more than 500,000 people immigrated to Philadelphia. The city also had the highest population of Puerto Ricans in the continental U.S. In addition, the city's Hispanic and Asian American populations have grown considerably. Since 1990, Philadelphia's foreign-born residents have increased by more than 34,000. Approximately 38 percent of Philadelphia's population is foreign-born. The remainder comes from Asia, Europe, and Latin America.