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The life of a city and a newspaper

1829 The first issue of The Inquirer appears on June 1. Yuengling Brewery is established. Eastern State Penitentiary opens. Andrew Jackson is inaugurated as the nation's seventh president.


The first issue of The Inquirer appears on June 1.

Yuengling Brewery is established.

Eastern State Penitentiary opens.

Andrew Jackson is inaugurated as the nation's seventh president.


The first penny newspaper, the Cent, is published in Philadelphia by C.C. Conwell.

Godey's Lady's Book is published by Louis Godey on Sixth Street near Chestnut.


Matthias Baldwin founds what becomes the world's largest locomotive works.

Richard Allen, founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and its first bishop, dies at 71. Allen led black movements for equality in an era when people believed that the most African Americans could achieve would be a status between slavery and citizenship.


The centennial of George Washington's birth is celebrated in Philadelphia.


The New York Sun publishes the first successful penny newspaper.


Wills Hospital for Diseases of the Eye is established.


Philadelphians flock to see

the exhibit of a live Chinese woman. Afong Moy, 19, amazes spectators

by eating with chopsticks.

Philadelphia begins laying gas pipe.


The Delaware River freezes in winter, stopping shipping for two months.


Philadelphia Hall, dedicated to free speech and abolition, opens on May 14. Three days later, a mob burns it to the ground.

Edgar Allan Poe publishes his first work, The Conchologist's First Book.


The earliest American daguerreotypes are taken, among them a view of Central High School.


A mob of whites attacks a parade held to celebrate Jamaican Emancipation Day, sparking the three-day Lombard Street Riot.


Construction begins on the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul.

War breaks out with Mexico, following the 1845 U.S. annexation of Texas.


Congress passes the Fugitive Slave Law, mandating the arrest and return of runaway slaves to their owners. The law makes Northern abolitionist states complicit in enforcing slavery.

The Female Medical College of Pennsylvania is founded. The first women's medical college in the world is later renamed Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, and then the Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1970, when it begins accepting men. Today, it's the Drexel University College of Medicine.

The School of Design, later Moore College of Art, is founded.


The Consolidation Act aligns the city and county borders, dissolving the governments inside the boundary and making those townships part of Philadelphia.


The first full-page newspaper ad appears, in the New York Ledger.

The first Republican National Convention is held, at Eighth and Locust Streets. John C. Frémont loses the presidential election to Pennsylvanian James Buchanan.


The Academy of Music opens for its first season.


Oil is drilled in tiny Titusville, Pa., spurring a boom in the area.


The New York Herald establishes the first newspaper "morgue," or archive of its own work.

McGillin's Old Ale House is founded.

Christian Schmidt Brewing Co. opens.


Fort Sumter is fired upon, and the Civil War begins.


Battle of Gettysburg is fought.


Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul completed.


Lincoln is assassinated. His funeral train stops in Philadelphia.

The Union League opens at Broad and Sansom Streets.

John B. Stetson opens a hat factory in Philadelphia.


The United States buys Alaska.

The Fairmount Park Commission is established.

Philadelphia teams including the Pythians and Excelsiors help shape a tradition of black baseball that culminates in creation of the first successful Negro league in 1920.


Lee Fong opens a hand laundry at 913 Race St., the start of what will become Chinatown.

"The Yellow Kid," the first comic strip, appears.


Octavius V. Catto, an African American educator and civil-rights advocate, is shot dead in Philadelphia on Election Day, amid street fights over blacks' being allowed to vote.

Construction begins on City Hall.


The University of Pennsylvania moves to West Philadelphia.

George Gordon Meade, the victorious general of Gettysburg, dies here and is buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery.


The Philadelphia Zoo opens, America's first.


Thomas Eakins paints

The Gross Clinic



The nation's Centennial Exhibition is held in Fairmount Park, drawing about nine million visitors.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is founded.

Frank Furness' new home for the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts opens at Broad and Cherry Streets.

Joseph Wharton becomes wealthy producing pure malleable nickel for American coins. He later founds the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, co-founds Bethlehem Steel Corp., and helps found Swarthmore College.

John Wanamaker's Grand Depot opens, the largest department store in the city.


William Claude Dukenfield, better known as W.C. Fields, is born in Darby. He later stars in over 40 motion pictures. His headstone does not read, "On the whole, I would rather be in Philadelphia."


Philadelphia hires its first black police officer.

Walt Whitman, a Camden resident, completes Leaves of Grass.

Congress passes the Chinese Exclusion Act, the first and only immigration law to target a race.

The city celebrates the bicentennial of its founding.


The Phillies are founded.

The Central School Board is founded.


Temple College is founded.

The Philadelphia Tribune, the nation's oldest African American newspaper, is founded.


About 2,500 members of the "Odd Fellows," a black fraternal society, parade through Philadelphia.

Anna Hallowell becomes the first woman elected to the Philadelphia Board of Education.


Edwin Henry Fitler is elected mayor, the first to serve a four-year term.

Centennial of the U.S. Constitution is celebrated.


The Baldwin School is founded.


The Free Library of Philadelphia is chartered.


Drexel Institute is founded.


The Inquirer brags of having the largest circulation of any Republican daily newspaper in the United States - 75,290.


Reading Terminal Market opens.


After 23 years, construction ends on City Hall.


The first Penn Relays is held, drawing 5,000 fans.


The first major strike occurs in Philadelphia, as 100,000 textile laborers demand a 55-hour work week. An estimated 10,000 of the strikers are children.


The Spanish–American War is fought.


Dante's and Luigi's opens; today, it is Philadelphia's oldest Italian restaurant.

Sigmund Lubin opens one of the nation's first movie theaters on the Schuylkill's west bank.


Territorial government is established in Hawaii.

The Lorraine Apartments becomes the Lorraine Hotel. In 1948, the property is sold to Father Divine, leader of the Universal Peace Mission Movement. He makes the Divine Lorraine Hotel one of the first integrated hotels in Philadelphia.


The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia is established.


Joe Horn and Frank Hardart open the Automat, America's first coin-operated cafeteria, at Eighth and Chestnut Streets.

The Teddy Bear is introduced, named for President Theodore Roosevelt.


The Wright brothers fly at Kitty Hawk, N.C.

The first tabloid newspaper, the Daily Mirror, is published in London.

Mary Harris "Mother" Jones leads a "children's army" on a march from Kensington to New York to demand child-labor legislation.


Lincoln Steffens publishes

The Shame of the Cities

, exposing corruption.


Albert Einstein proposes his theory of relativity.


The Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Co., later to become Kellogg's, introduces corn flakes.


Temple becomes a university.


Henry Ford introduces the Model T.


Shibe Park opens at 21st Street and Lehigh Avenue as pro baseball's first steel-and-concrete stadium. In 1953 the park is renamed Connie Mack Stadium. It closes in 1970 and is torn down in 1976.


Harry Bass, a Philadelphia lawyer, becomes the first African American elected to the Pennsylvania legislature.

Edmund N. Bacon is born in Philadelphia, which he will transform as a city planner, his legacy including Market East, Society Hill and LOVE Park.


The Wanamaker Eagle is installed in the John Wanamaker store at 13th and Market Streets.


The Titanic hits an iceberg and sinks.

Oreo cookies go on sale.


World War I begins.

The first Tastykake is baked.


The American Friends Service Committee is founded.

The Girl Scouts start selling homemade cookies to raise money.


A flu pandemic kills 12,000 Philadelphians in one month. Eventually, 675,000 people die nationwide.


Plans are undertaken for construction of the Delaware River Bridge.


Mario Lanza is born in South Philadelphia as Alfredo Cocozza. His rich tenor voice brings him fame in radio, records and movies.


The tomb of King Tutankamun is found in Egypt.


Time magazine is founded.


J. Edgar Hoover is appointed director of the predecessor of the FBI.


The Inquirer moves into its iconic white tower at Broad and Callowhill Streets. The structure is named the Elverson Building, to honor the father of the paper's then-owner, James Elverson Jr.

Adolf Hitler publishes Mein Kampf.


The Delaware River Bridge opens, with the toll 25 cents. Later its name is changed to the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.

A.A. Milne publishes Winnie-the-Pooh.


The Central Library of the Free Library opens at 19th and Vine Streets.

Charles A. Lindbergh completes the first solo flight across the Atlantic.


The Philadelphia Museum of Art opens the first, finished section of its new building at 26th Street and the Parkway.

Penicillin is discovered.


The stock market crashes, ushering in the Great Depression.


Newspapers run a comic strip called "Plainclothes Tracy," inspired by Eliot Ness and later to be called "Dick Tracy."


The PSFS Building is completed.

Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. Five years later, her plane disappears as she attempts to fly around the world.


The Eagles are established. The team takes its name from the symbol of the New Deal's National Recovery Act.

American newspapers, fearful of losing circulation and advertising, try to force the Associated Press to stop providing news to radio stations.


Moses L. Annenberg buys The Inquirer.


The Hindenburg catches fire and burns as it docks at the Naval Air Station in Lakehurst, N.J., killing 36.


Orson Welles' Halloween radio broadcast of

The War of the Worlds

causes panic, convincing people that Martians are invading Grover's Mill, N.J.

Pearl S. Buck wins the Nobel Prize for literature, for books including The Good Earth.


Marian Anderson of South Philadelphia sings at the Lincoln Memorial.


"Brenda Starr" appears in newspapers, the first comic strip written by a woman.


Japanese planes bomb Pearl Harbor; the United States enters World War II.


President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders Japanese Americans held in internment camps. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signs legislation that apologizes for the forced removal.


The Allies land at Normandy on D-Day.


The United States drops atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki; World War II ends.


The Rev. Leon Sullivan becomes the pastor of Zion Baptist Church in Philadelphia, later pioneering the use of "selective patronage," where churchgoers boycott firms that refuse to hire black people. In 1964 he founds Opportunities Industrialization Centers, a jobs-training program that spreads across the nation.

Philadelphia's population hits a peak 2,071,605.

The first "Peanuts" comic strip appears.

John Updike graduates from Shillington High School in Berks County. Over the next five decades, he dominates American literature as a novelist, poet, critic, and short-story writer.


Mad magazine is first published by William M. Gaines.

A TV show called Bandstand debuts from a West Philadelphia studio. Dick Clark becomes host in 1956, and the next year American Bandstand goes national on ABC.


Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are executed for espionage.


First section of the Schuylkill Expressway opens.


Disneyland opens in California.


Elvis swings his hips on

The Ed Sullivan Show


Grace Kelly of East Falls marries Monaco's Prince Rainier.

Richardson Dilworth becomes mayor, a job he holds until 1962, when he resigns to run, unsuccessfully, for governor.


Lego toy bricks are introduced.


Following a show in Clear Lake, Iowa, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper are killed when their plane crashes into a cornfield.


The city population begins its slide, to 2,002,512.


James H.J. Tate becomes mayor upon Dilworth's resignation.

Wilt Chamberlain scores 100 points for the Philadelphia Warriors against the New York Knicks, setting the NBA's single-game scoring record.

Marilyn Monroe is found dead.

Comedian Ernie Kovacs, a Trenton native, is killed in a car accident.


President John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas.

Tate is elected mayor of Philadelphia. He wins re-election in 1967.


The Beatles land at JFK Airport in New York City; Beatlemania ensues.


The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated in Memphis. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated in Los Angeles.


Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to walk on the moon.

Anne D'Harnoncourt becomes director of the Art Museum.


The Beatles break up.

City population is 1,948,609.


Former Police Commissioner Frank L. Rizzo is elected to the first of two terms as mayor.

Republican Ethel Allen becomes the first black woman on City Council.

Veterans Stadium opens, home to the Phillies and the Eagles.


Eugene L. Roberts Jr. becomes editor of The Inquirer. He remakes a second-rate, second-place daily into one of the nation's best papers, earning 17 Pulitzer Prizes during his 18-year tenure.

William H. Gray III succeeds his father as senior minister of Bright Hope Baptist Church. Six years later, he is elected to Congress, serving until 1991, when he steps down to become head of the United Negro College Fund.


Vice President Spiro T. Agnew resigns; charges of accepting bribes soon follow.


President Richard M. Nixon resigns, facing impeachment over the Watergate scandal.

The first 11 female Episcopal priests are ordained at the Church of the Advocate, a North Philadelphia landmark that long has served the cause of civil rights.


Microsoft Corp. is founded.

Patti LaBelle and her all-woman group, LaBelle, score a No. 1 hit with "Lady Marmalade."


Actor, singer and civil-rights advocate Paul Robeson dies in Philadelphia at 77, sparking condolences from around the world.

Rocky appears in theaters, capturing the heart and grit of Philadelphia, and going on to win three Oscars, including Best Picture.


Star Wars

is released.

Elvis Presley dies in his bathroom at 42.

Women's rights advocate Alice Paul dies in Moorestown, not far from her birthplace and family home of Paulsdale.

The Gene London Show ends after nearly 20 years on WCAU-TV in Philadelphia. For generations of children, London was the friendly face who urged them to come right into the General Store to hear stories, sing songs, and watch cartoons.


Casino gambling arrives in Atlantic City.

The Phillie Phanatic debuts.


A partial core meltdown occurs at Three Mile Island, the worst accident in the history of U.S. commercial nuclear power.

Eastern State Penitentiary closes.


William J. Green III becomes mayor.

The Phillies win the World Series for the first time.

John Lennon is shot to death by a deranged fan outside his New York City home.

Philip Berrigan, his brother Daniel, and six others begin the Plowshares Movement when they enter a General Electric plant in King of Prussia that makes nuclear missile parts. Their latest antiwar protest - once inside the plant, they hammer on a missile nose cone - results in multiple charges. In 1990, after a decade of trials and appeals, they are sentenced to parole.

Philadelphia's population drops to 1,688,210.


Michael Jackson releases "Thriller."

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is dedicated in Washington.

The Bulletin folds after a battle for supremacy against The Inquirer.

Mumia Abu-Jamal is convicted of killing Police Officer Daniel Faulkner.


W. Wilson Goode is sworn in as the city's first black mayor.


The MOVE bombing ignites a fire that destroys a city block, killing 11 people, including five children, and leaving 240 homeless.

Construction ends on I-95 through Philadelphia.

The wreckage of the Titanic is discovered on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean.


The space shuttle Challenger disintegrates 73 seconds after liftoff, killing all seven crew members.


One Liberty Place is completed.

Columbia Avenue in North Philadelphia is renamed Cecil B. Moore Avenue, honoring the lawyer and activist who helped lead the civil rights movement in Philadelphia during the 1960s.


The Berlin Wall falls.


Two Liberty Place is completed.

Maxwell E.P. King is named editor of The Inquirer, succeeding Roberts. He battles cost-cutters at parent company Knight Ridder Inc. to sustain the newspaper's journalism.

Philadelphia population falls to 1,585,577.


Rizzo dies of a heart attack not long after winning the Republican nomination for mayor.

Edward G. Rendell is elected mayor.

The Soviet Union collapses.


Riots erupt in Los Angeles after a jury acquits four Los Angeles police officers accused in the videotaped beating of motorist Rodney King. Six days of violence leave 53 people dead, thousands injured, and $1 billion in property destroyed.


The movie


deals openly with issues of AIDS, homosexuality, and homophobia, and earns Tom Hanks an Oscar as Best Actor.


A truck bomb destroys the Alfred Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 in the deadliest act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history.


Princess Diana dies in a car crash in Paris.


President Bill Clinton is impeached on charges stemming from the Monica Lewinsky scandal. The second president to be impeached, he is acquitted by the Senate in 1999.

King steps down as editor of The Inquirer, succeeded by Robert J. Rosenthal, a top lieutenant who starred as a foreign correspondent.

Casino owner Steve Wynn tries to buy Dream Garden, the enormous glass mosaic, and move it to Las Vegas. The Pew Charitable Trusts provides $3.5 million to help purchase the work and keep it in Philadelphia.


Two students at Columbine High School in Colorado launch an attack on their classmates, killing 12 students and a teacher before committing suicide.


John F. Street becomes mayor of Philadelphia.

City population is 1,517,500.


The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks destroy the World Trade Center in New York City and part of the Pentagon in Northern Virginia. The death toll there and in Pennsylvania, where a hijacked planes crashed, numbers more than 2,700.

The Mummers celebrate 100 years of New Year's revelry. The first official city parade took place on Jan. 1, 1901, though reports of similar celebrations date to before the Revolution.

Rosenthal departs as editor of The Inquirer after three years. Walker Lundy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press takes over.


Lundy quits after 18 months. Amanda Bennett of the Lexington Herald Leader becomes the first female editor of The Inquirer.


Veterans Stadium is demolished.


Knight Ridder agrees to be sold to the McClatchy Co., which immediately puts The Inquirer and 11 other less-profitable newspapers up for sale. The Inquirer is sold to Philadelphia Media Holdings L.L.C., a group of local business people led by advertising executive Brian P. Tierney.

William K. Marimow returns to The Inquirer as its editor, taking over the leadership of the newsroom where he won two Pulitzer Prizes, in 1977 and 1985. After leaving the paper in 1993, he went on to become editor of the Baltimore Sun and then vice president for news at NPR. He replaces Bennett.

The true-life story of the Eagles' Vince Papale comes to the screen as Invincible.

The stuffed remains of World War I hero "Philly the Dog" go on display at the Atwater Kent Museum. The pup traveled to Europe with the Army's 315th Infantry Regiment, its barking alerting Allied soldiers to German attempts to infiltrate the line. When the dog died in 1932, the men of the 315th collected funds and took the body to a taxidermist.

Actor Peter Boyle dies, saddening fans of Everybody Loves Raymond. Born in Norristown and raised in Philadelphia, he played the monster in Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein and won an Emmy for a guest role on The X-Files.


The Inquirer lays off 71 journalists, about 17 percent of the editorial staff, in a major round of cost-cutting.

A disturbed Virginia Tech senior goes on a rampage, killing 32 people before committing suicide. The massacre in Blacksburg, Va., is the deadliest peacetime shooting by a single gunman in U.S. history.


Michael Nutter becomes mayor.

The Phillies win the World Series. Hundreds of thousands of fans jam Broad Street for a celebratory parade.

A census estimate puts the city population at 1,447,395, about the same as in the early 1900s.

Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, architects of the Sound of Philadelphia, are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


The Inquirer files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February, joined by its sister paper, the Philadelphia Daily News, and the Web site.

Harry Kalas, the beloved voice of the Phillies, collapses and dies before a game.

Painter Andrew Wyeth, 91, dies in his sleep at his home in Chadds Ford. One of the nation's most loved and hated artists, the New York Times calls him "a virtual Rorschach test for American culture during the better part of the last century."

Barack Obama is inaugurated, the first African American to be president.

Tomorrow, June 1, The Inquirer turns 180.