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5 Fun Facts About January 6 In Pennsylvania History

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

1. The Battle of Trenton took place on January 6, 1777, during the American Revolutionary War. General George Washington led his troops across the Delaware River to surprise and defeat the Hessian mercenaries stationed in Trenton, New Jersey. This victory was a turning point in the war and boosted morale for American troops.

2. On January 6, 1838, Governor Joseph Ritner signed the Public School Act, which established free public schools in Pennsylvania. This law helped ensure that all children had access to education, regardless of their socio-economic status.

3. The Pennsylvania Railroad, one of the largest and most powerful railroads in the world, was chartered on January 6, 1846. The company operated a vast network of rail lines that connected major cities on the East Coast and helped transform the American economy.

4. The Great Blizzard of 1888 hit Pennsylvania on January 6 and lasted for several days. The storm brought heavy snow and strong winds, causing power outages, transportation disruptions, and widespread damage. The blizzard remains one of the most severe weather events in Pennsylvania history.

5. On January 6, 1999, former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge was sworn in as the first director of the newly-created Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush. Ridge oversaw the agency's efforts to strengthen national security and coordinate responses to terrorist threats and natural disasters.
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