State College, PA is a small town known for being home to Penn State University. But did you know that this area also has a rich history? From important events during the American Revolution to the birthplace of a famous author, here are 7 historical events that have taken place near State College.
1. The Battle of Muncy Hills
On June 10, 1779, a group of American soldiers led by Colonel Samuel Hunter fought against British loyalists and their Native American allies in what is now Lycoming County. Although the Americans won the battle, it was part of a larger conflict that ultimately failed to push the British out of the area.
2. The Gettysburg Address
During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863, just 66 miles from State College in Adams County. The speech, which is considered one of the greatest in American history, honored the soldiers who had died in the battle at Gettysburg.
3. The Peale Family
Charles Willson Peale, a prominent early American painter, was born in Queen Anne's County, Maryland, in 1741. His sons Rembrandt, Rubens, and Titian were also renowned artists. The family had a farm in Centre County, where they raised sheep and helped to improve the breeding of Merino sheep in America.
4. The Pennsylvania Railroad
The Pennsylvania Railroad was founded in 1846, and its first president, J. Edgar Thomson, was a Penn State graduate. The railroad played a significant role in the development of State College and the surrounding communities, providing transportation for goods and people.
5. Ag Progress Days
Ag Progress Days, a three-day agricultural exposition, has been held annually in State College since 1974. The event, which attracts hundreds of exhibitors and tens of thousands of visitors, features displays of the latest farming technology and techniques.
6. Sproul State Forest
Sproul State Forest, located just north of State College, was established in 1898 as the Pennsylvania State Forest Academy. The forest covers more than 305,000 acres of rugged mountain terrain and is home to wildlife such as elk, black bear, and coyotes.
7. John O'Hara
John O'Hara, a prominent American writer during the mid-20th century, was born in Pottsville, PA, in 1905. He attended Penn State University, where he wrote for the student newspaper and edited the yearbook. Many of his works, including the novel "Appointment in Samarra," are set in the small towns of central Pennsylvania.
From battles to famous speeches, the history of State College, PA, and the surrounding area is rich and varied. These events showcase the struggles and triumphs of early Americans, as well as the contributions of artists, writers, and farmers.
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