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5 Fun Facts About December 19 In Pennsylvania History

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

1. On December 19, 1732, the Pennsylvania Gazette, one of the earliest American newspapers, was first published by Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia. The newspaper went on to become one of the most influential publications in the country, and Franklin used it to advocate for colonial unity and independence from Britain.

2. December 19, 1777, marked the beginning of the harsh winter encampment of George Washington's Continental Army at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. The soldiers suffered from disease, lack of supplies, and brutal weather conditions, but they persevered and emerged stronger and more disciplined the following spring.

3. In 1843, on December 19, Charles Dickens gave his first reading of A Christmas Carol in the United States at the Masonic Hall in Philadelphia. The book's themes of generosity and redemption resonated with audiences and helped to popularize the modern Christmas celebration in America.

4. On December 19, 1917, Philadelphia's new municipal flag was adopted by the City Council. The flag features the city's seal in the center, with symbols representing history, commerce, and culture on the outer ring. The flag is still in use today and is flown throughout the city on holidays and special occasions.

5. December 19, 1996, saw the opening of the first IKEA store in Pennsylvania, located in Conshohocken. The popular Swedish furniture retailer revolutionized the way Americans shop for home furnishings, with its high-quality, low-cost products and its signature in-store cafeteria offering Swedish meatballs and other treats.
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