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5 Fun Facts About December 11 In Pennsylvania History

---Learn Every Day: PA Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history pa To: 618-270-4005---

1. On December 11, 1787, Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution, following Delaware.

2. In 1816, the Pennsylvania Legislature voted to establish the first state-owned and operated penitentiary in the United States, in Philadelphia. The Eastern State Penitentiary began operations in 1829 and housed famous criminals such as Al Capone and Willie Sutton.

3. On December 11, 1854, the first successful train robbery in the United States took place near Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. A group of robbers called the "Reno Gang" stole over $70,000 worth of valuables from a train traveling between Cincinnati and Chicago.

4. In 1936, a gas explosion at the Cambria-Somerset Power Company in Johnstown, Pennsylvania killed 10 people and injured over 100 others. The blast also caused significant damage to the surrounding area.

5. On December 11, 1998, Penn State football coach Joe Paterno won his 300th career game when the Nittany Lions defeated Michigan State. Paterno went on to become one of the most successful coaches in college football history, with a career record of 409 wins, 136 losses, and 3 ties.
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