Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

Releases: Expanded View

Jun 19 2007

Pennsylvania's "Quest For Freedom" Program Kicks Off On Historic Juneteenth

Program to Highlight Key African-American Historical Attractions, Underground Railroad Sites

On June 19, 1865, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, Union soldiers, led by Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas, with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. This date is now celebrated throughout the United States as “Juneteenth,” a critical date in African-American history.
 

This “Juneteenth,” Pennsylvania is capturing its own piece of that history with the stories of African-American soldiers who fought in the American Revolution and Civil War, stories of freedom-seekers along the Underground Railroad passages in the state, and stories of abolitionists who risked their lives in the “Quest for Freedom.” Visitor bureaus across Pennsylvania have developed comprehensive networks of lodging and attraction partners, along with all the information for visitors to take in the historic locations across the state, hear stories from re-enactors firsthand and learn about their own family histories along the way.

“The ‘Quest for Freedom’ program is the culmination of some very collaborative efforts across the state to create the first complete visitor experience in Pennsylvania to explore African-American history,” said Mickey Rowley, deputy secretary of tourism for the Department of Community and Economic Development. “Our local visitor bureaus and official Heritage Region partners have done a tremendous job in uncovering some fascinating places and historical facts.”

Highlights of the “Quest for Freedom” program in Pennsylvania include mapping a series of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (Bethel A.M.E.) churches across the state that were once critical Underground Railroad stops, the Blairsville Area Underground Railroad Project, the John Brown Tannery and Museum in Guys Mills, Little Africa in Warren County, Underground Railroad travel packages offered through VisitPittsburgh, and the “Freedom Journeys” interactive map stretching from Gettysburg to Philadelphia.

Regional tourism partners across the state will launch their individual “Quest for Freedom” travel packages, programs and itineraries today to coincide with the “Juneteenth” celebration. Information on all of the regional activities can be found on the state’s official tourism Web site, www.visitPA.com.

The Pennsylvania Tourism Office, under the state Department of Community and Economic Development, is dedicated to fulfilling the needs and aspirations of travelers by presenting them with the information and resources they need to plan and enjoy the activities, attractions and destinations that are uniquely Pennsylvania. For more information about Pennsylvania’s tourism industry, go to www.visitPA.com, or call (800) VISIT PA.
 

Contact(s):
  • E-mail

Related Releases

Oct 26 2017

African-American Historic Attractions Thrive In Philadelphia

The Unique, Compelling Story Of Early African-Americans, As Told Throughout Philadelphia

Just as U.S. history is African-American history, Philadelphia history is African-American history. The nation’s birthplace and first World Heritage City is home to the founding church of the African Methodist Episcopal denomination (201-year-old Mother Bethel A.M.E.), the country’s first major museum devoted to black American history (African American Museum in Philadelphia) and the oldest daily newspaper serving the African-American community (The Philadelphia Tribune).

Landmarks from Philadelphia’s Historic District to Historic Germantown tell of the successes, struggles and contributions of African-Americans through the centuries. In September 2017, Philadelphia City Hall welcomed the city’s first statue representing

...
Jun 16 2017

30 Top Philadelphia Region Attractions

Fact Sheet

* Note: Most attractions were listed in the Philadelphia Business Journal Book of Lists 2016. Those that were not are marked with an asterisk.

Historical Sites & Attractions:
1. African American Museum in Philadelphia* – Founded in 1976, the museum is the first institution built by a major U.S. city to preserve, interpret and exhibit the heritage and culture of African-Americans. The museum takes a fresh and bold look at the stories of African-Americans and their role in the founding of the nation through the core exhibit Audacious Freedom. Other exhibits and programs explore the history, stories and

...
May 10 2017

What's In Old City And Along The Delaware River Waterfront?

Two Historic District Neighborhoods Offer Restaurants, Art Galleries, Nightlife, Shopping—And History

Located just next to Independence Mall, where the country’s Founding Fathers declared liberty and built a free nation, Old City, part of Philadelphia’s Historic District, boasts charming cobblestone streets and plenty of 18th-century charm—along with an independent streak that’s evident in everything from its owner-operated shops to its edgy art scene.

Its proximity to the Liberty Bell, Penn’s Landing and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge make Old City a favorite for out-of-towners as much as for the residents who call it home. People love the neighborhood for its fashionable boutiques, great restaurants, eclectic galleries, boundary-pushing theaters and vibrant nightlife.

...
May 1 2017

The Greater Philadelphia Region: Fast Facts

Population:

There are more than 4 million people residing in the five-county region (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties) and more than 1.5 million in Philadelphia, making it the second-largest city on the East Coast and the sixth-largest city in the country.

Location:

Philadelphia is a two-hour drive from New York City, two-and-a-half hours from Washington, DC and 45 minutes from Atlantic City, with convenient access to the Pennsylvania Turnpike, I-76, I-95 and the New Jersey Turnpike. One-quarter of the U.S. population lives within a five-hour drive of Center City Philadelphia.

The city is a 90-minute flight or a

...
Apr 24 2017

Philly Tours Explore History, Art, Food, Bridges & the Supernatural

Also Explore The Region By Foot, Trolley, Horse Or Smartphone

Visitors to Philadelphia can choose from an assortment of options to explore the region, including those of the air, automotive, audio, culinary, self-guided and water-based varieties. And the sightseeing fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Those who come out at night can join tours that feature behind-the-scenes action and, if so desired, spirits from beyond. Here’s a selection of tours available throughout the region:

History Lessons By Day & Night:

  • Bow Tie Tours – Learning about Philadelphia’s—and America’s—history through the true tales of real-life characters who walked the city’s streets is the secret to the success of
...
Apr 21 2017

New–Lots New–This Summer In Philadelphia

Philly Debuts And News Include The Museum Of The American Revolution, Longwood Gardens’ Fountains, An Andrew Wyeth Retrospective, Hall & Oates Festival, So Much More

Philadelphia’s summer is jam-packed with things to do, thanks to new attractions, limited-time displays, major exhibitions and the seasonal happenings that locals and visitors cherish. Highlights: just-opened Museum of the American Revolution and the nation’s most playful LEGOLAND® Discovery Center, an indoor snow playground called Winter: Exclusively at Philadelphia Zoo, a high-tech, $19 million renovation of Longwood Gardens’ main fountains and a concert and festival curated and headlined by Philly’s own Hall & Oates.

Just Opened:

  • LEGOLAND® Discovery Center – Millions of LEGO bricks build the foundation for this creative and fun destination. Perfect for ages 3
...
Mar 3 2017

The African-American Story From Its Beginnings In Philadelphia's Historic District

True Stories Of Black Lives & Achievements Told Throughout America’s Most Historic Square Mile

Philadelphia’s Historic District, the site of the original city and often called America’s most historic square mile, reveals early chapters in the nation’s history, including the challenges, injustices, accomplishments and contributions of Africans and African-Americans.

This year, the Historic District’s African American Museum in Philadelphia celebrates its 40th anniversary. The groundbreaking institution hosts two temporary exhibitions through April 2, 2017. Shawn Theodore’s Church of Broken Pieces explores the translocation of black America through photography. Dawoud Bey’s Harlem, USA resurrects the photographer’s iconic 1979 portraits of residents of one of the country’s most diverse neighborhoods. The district is also home

...
Jul 8 2016

16 Things To Know: African-American Philadelphia

From Colonial Through Modern Days In The City Of Brotherly Love & Sisterly Affection

Strength In Numbers:

  1. The 2010 U.S. Census reported 661,839—that’s 43.37%—of Philadelphians are African-American, the city’s second largest ethnic demographic. More recent estimates show this population has increased by approximately 1% in the past six years.
  2. The largest concentration—82%—of African-American Philadelphians live in North Philadelphia west of Germantown Avenue, Point Breeze in South Philadelphia, West Philadelphia and in parts of Southwest Philadelphia.
  3. Important African-American business corridors include 52nd Street between Walnut and
    Arch Streets and Baltimore Avenue between 40th and 52nd Streets, both in West Philadelphia; and Stenton Avenue between Broad Street and Walnut Lane and Ogontz
...
Jun 16 2016

Fact Sheet: 31 Top Philadelphia Region Attractions

* Note: Most attractions were listed in the Philadelphia Business Journal Book of Lists 2015. Those that were not are marked with an asterisk.

Historical Sites & Attractions:

  1. The African American Museum in Philadelphia*, founded in 1976, is the first institution built by a major U.S. city to preserve, interpret and exhibit the heritage and culture of African-Americans. The museum takes a fresh and bold look at the stories of African-Americans and their role in the founding of the nation through the core exhibit Audacious Freedom. Other exhibits and programs explore the history, stories and cultures of those of African
...
May 23 2016

Fact Sheet: Historic Philadelphia Trail

The birthplace of the nation is rich in history—and plenty of it. Philadelphia's Historic District Trail guides visitors to 24 essential sites in the area, which spans from the Delaware River to 7th Street and from Vine to Lombard Streets. This is the original city. It boasts serious historical cred, but it’s also home to buzzed-about restaurants and beer gardens, owner-operated boutiques and pushing-the boundaries art galleries.

Here is the 24-stop essential guide, available at visitphilly.com/historic:

  1. Visitors can head to the Independence Visitor Center to pick up their timed tickets to Independence Hall and get expert Philly tips.
...