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5 Fun Facts About May 12 In Pennsylvania History

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

1. In 1753, the Pennsylvania Gazette reported on the arrival of the first shipment of coffee to Philadelphia from the West Indies, marking the beginning of the city's long love affair with the beverage.

2. On May 12, 1777, the Pennsylvania legislature passed a resolution instructing its delegates to the Continental Congress to support independence from Great Britain. This was a significant step toward the formal declaration of independence that would come a few months later.

3. In 1875, the Pennsylvania State Normal School at Indiana (now Indiana University of Pennsylvania) was founded, providing a training ground for teachers that would serve the state for over a century.

4. On May 12, 1937, the Philadelphia Eagles selected their first-ever player in the NFL draft, choosing halfback Jay Berwanger from the University of Chicago. Berwanger never played a game for the Eagles, but went on to become the inaugural winner of the Heisman Trophy.

5. In 1985, a standoff between Philadelphia police and members of the radical group MOVE came to a tragic end when police dropped explosives onto the group's headquarters in West Philadelphia, starting a fire that consumed several city blocks and killed 11 people, including 5 children. The event remains one of the most controversial in recent Pennsylvania history.
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