The 2016 Democratic National Convention will take place in Philadelphia, the birthplace of America and the country’s first World Heritage City, July 25-28, 2016. The city has enough history, art, culture, food, vibrant neighborhoods, parks and political landmarks to fill web, newspaper and magazine pages from now until the convention.
Here are 10 things people might not know about the host city, plus key resources for convention and destination coverage.
10 Philly Facts You (Probably) Don’t Know:
- One-quarter of the U.S. population lives within a five-hour drive of Philadelphia.
- The fast-growing Indego bike-share program launched in spring 2015 and in less than nine months accommodated 400,000 rides—with 85% of them taken by locals, making Philadelphia’s program a model for other cities including Los Angeles and Chicago.
- The city was the first destination in the world to air a gay-themed television commercial in 2004. It was part of the campaign Philadelphia – Get Your History Straight and Your Nightlife Gay®.
- Philadelphia is known as the City of Murals. Started as an anti-graffiti initiative in the 1980s, the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program has created 3,800 larger-than-life works and is the most influential mural arts organization in the world.
- It’s not the first time the city has been in the political spotlight. The birthplace of America hosted the First Continental Congress in 1774. In more recent history, Philadelphia hosted the DNC in 1936 and 1948 and the RNC in 1856 (the first), 1872, 1900, 1940, 1948 and 2000.
- Just steps from Independence Hall, presidential hopeful Barack Obama delivered his famous speech on race, “A More Perfect Union,” at the National Constitution Center in 2008.
- In the spirit of city founder William Penn’s vision for a “greene countrie town,” Philadelphia boasts the largest municipal park system, Fairmount Park. (Yes, bigger than Central Park.)
- Pope Francis delivered three historic public addresses in Philadelphia in September 2015: a speech on immigration at Independence Hall, a statement about the importance of families on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and a Sunday mass, also on the Parkway.
- Cheesesteaks are available 24/7, but most locals prefer roast pork sandwiches with broccoli rabe and provolone.
- Half of the answers to the 100-question U.S. citizenship test study guide can be found in Philadelphia, where so many key historic events took place.
- Philly's Grilled Cheese Sandwich Guide
- Philadelphia's Chinatown Neighborhood Guide
- Philadelphia Spas & Salons Guide
- Philly's Chinatown Bars & Nightlife Guide
- Philly's Guide Pairing Cheese and Wine