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5 Fun Facts About July 7 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 Gettysburg began on July 1, 1863, but it was on July 7 that Union forces finally gained control of the town after a brutal three-day struggle with Confederate troops. This historic battle is considered a turning point in the Civil War.

2. On July 7, 1937, the Pennsylvania Turnpike opened to the public, becoming the first major toll road in the United States. Today, the Turnpike spans over 550 miles, connecting the eastern and western portions of the state.

3. In 1906, Philadelphia became the first US city to have a fire boat equipped with a water cannon. The boat, known as the Edward Smith, was christened on July 7 and served the city for over 60 years.

4. On July 7, 1978, a massive flood swept through central Pennsylvania, causing widespread damage and claiming several lives. The flood was caused by the failure of the Earthen Dam at the Tunkhannock Creek Reservoir.

5. In 1846, the first train officially entered the city of Pittsburgh on July 7, marking the beginning of the Pennsylvania Railroad's expansion into the western part of the state. The railroad played a major role in the development of industry and commerce in Pennsylvania in the 19th and 20th centuries.
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