40 Facts About Harrisburg


Harrisburg is the capital city of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the county seat of Dauphin County.

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Harrisburg played a role in American history during the Westward Migration, the American Civil War and the Industrial Revolution.

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Harrisburg is known for the Three Mile Island accident, which occurred on March 28,1979, near Middletown.

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Harrisburg is located 83 miles miles southwest of Allentown, Pennsylvania's third largest city, and 107 miles northwest of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania's largest city.

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In 1791, Harrisburg became incorporated, and in October 1812 it was named the Pennsylvania state capital, which it has remained ever since.

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Persons arriving from the east by boat had to exit at Harrisburg and prepare for an overland journey westward through the mountain pass.

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Harrisburg assumed importance as a provisioning stop at this point where westward bound pioneers transitioned from river travel to overland travel.

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Richard S Ewell's Second Corps were tasked with capturing Harrisburg and disrupting the vital Union supply and rail lines.

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Rail yard was another area of Harrisburg that saw rapid and thorough change during the years of industrialization.

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Harrisburg's greatest problem was a shrinking city population after 1950.

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In June 1972, Harrisburg was hit by a major flood from the remnants of hurricane Agnes.

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Harrisburg was the first municipality ever in the history of the US Securities and Exchange Commission to be charged with securities fraud, for misleading statements about its financial health.

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In October 2011, Harrisburg filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy when four members of the seven-member City Council voted to file a bankruptcy petition in order to prevent the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from taking over the city's finances.

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State legislators crafted a moratorium to prevent Harrisburg from declaring bankruptcy, and after the moratorium expired, the law stripped the city government of the authority to file for bankruptcy and conferred it on the state receiver.

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Directly to the north of Harrisburg is the Blue Mountain ridge of the Appalachian Mountains.

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Harrisburg is the northern fringe of the historic Pennsylvania Dutch Country.

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The United States Postal Service designates 26 ZIP codes for Harrisburg, including 13 for official use by federal and state government agencies.

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Harrisburg has a variable, four-season climate lying at the beginning of the transition between the humid subtropical and humid continental zones.

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Downtown Harrisburg, which includes the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex, is the central core business and financial center for the greater Harrisburg metropolitan area and serves as the seat of government for Dauphin County and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

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Harrisburg has one of the largest Pennsylvania Dutch communities in the nation, and has the nation's ninth-largest Swedish-American communities in the nation.

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At that time Harrisburg was a small, but substantial colonial town with a population of 875 residents.

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Segregationist policy forbade these musicians from staying overnight in downtown Harrisburg making the Jackson Hotel in Harrisburg's 7th Ward a hub of black musicians prior the 1960s.

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The Art Association of Harrisburg was founded in 1926 and continues to provide education and exhibits throughout the year.

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In 2004, Harrisburg hosted CowParade, an international public art exhibit that has been featured in major cities all over the world.

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Harrisburg notably is home to large events occurring throughout the year which attracts visitors from across the country and internationally.

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Harrisburg area is part of the Harrisburg-Lancaster-Lebanon-York media market which consists of the lower counties in south central Pennsylvania and borders the media markets of Philadelphia and Baltimore.

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Harrisburg serves as the hub of professional sports in South Central Pennsylvania.

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The original Harrisburg Senators began playing in the Eastern League in 1924.

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In 1940, Harrisburg gained an Interstate League team affiliated with the Pittsburgh Pirates; however, the team remained in the city only until 1943, when it moved to nearby York and renamed the York Pirates.

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The current Harrisburg Senators, affiliated with the Washington Nationals, have won the Eastern League championship in the 1987,1993,1996,1997,1998, and 1999 seasons.

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Harrisburg has been served since 1970 by the "strong mayor" form of municipal government, with separate executive and legislative branches.

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Harrisburg is known nationally for its use of a two-tiered land value taxation.

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Harrisburg has taxed land at a rate six times that on improvements since 1975, and this policy has been credited by its former mayor Stephen R Reed, as well as by the city's former city manager during the 1980s, with reducing the number of vacant structures located in downtown Harrisburg from about 4,200 in 1982 to fewer than 500 in 1995.

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The trial court of general jurisdiction for Harrisburg rests with the Court of Dauphin County and is largely funded and operated by county resources and employees.

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Ronald Reagan Federal Building and Courthouse, located in downtown Harrisburg, serves as the regional administrative offices of the federal government.

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Harrisburg is served by Capital Area Transit which provides public bus and paratransit service throughout the greater metropolitan area.

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Harrisburg remained a freight rail hub for PRR's successor Conrail, which was later sold off and divided between Norfolk Southern and CSX.

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US Route 11 and US Route 15 pass through the western suburbs of Harrisburg, heading north concurrent from Camp Hill up the west bank of the Susquehanna River toward Selinsgrove.

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Harrisburg is the location of over a dozen large bridges, many up to a mile long, that cross the Susquehanna River.

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Harrisburg Academy, founded in 1784, is one of the oldest independent college preparatory schools in the nation.

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